This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Renee Garcia, CRG Creative Networking
2019 AusMumpreneur Big Idea (New Business) Award, Gold winner
Renee is a wife, mum, coffee lover and connection craver. Over the years Renee has been in numerous roles that has enabled her to work on her skills and embrace her welcoming and honest personality to grow strong connections in both her personal and professional life. Now Renee is passionate about sharing these skills and helping business owners to get their cogs moving, thinking of creative ways they can connect through networking in a more cost effective and efficient way to build better business connections and to direct them to the right networking events that suit them and their business so they feel comfortable and confident to be there authentic selves.
With a passion for writing, Renee is currently in the process of contributing as a co-author in a book due to be released in 2020 all about Mumpreneurs and their journey of juggling family and business life and most recently in the final stages of releasing her first children’s book that was inspired by her eldest son.
Tell us the story behind why you love what you do and why you’re so passionate about sharing your message.
Meeting new people has always been an exciting process for me. For as long as I can remember I have craved connection. The ability to meet someone and connect with them on a deep level where it’s not just about work or business, but a journey or an experience that helps to create an honest and authentic relationship that can last a lifetime.
My growth and success has come from the support, guidance and mentoring that I have received over the years from networking groups.
I’m passionate about sharing this experience, helping people understand they don’t need to fit in everywhere and their product, service or personality will not suit every environment or networking space but owning a business, you soon realise that the best way to build a brand is to get out and meet people.
For a lot of business owners, particularly in the start up phase this can be very overwhelming, I wanted to offer help and guidance to these people to not only help them to understand the importance of networking, but to understand that not all groups or tribes or strategies work for everyone so we want to find what works for them and where they are going to get the most value.
Tell us a story about a challenging time you faced, how you overcame it and what lesson/lessons/wisdom this experience has taught you about life and business.
Prioritising between my passion and dream to build my own brand and identity and needing to focus and be in the moment in our family business which is at this point in time the main income earner.
There is always that fine line of guilt about whether I should continue my dream or take the easier road and stick to the family business. Whilst I know that within time CRG Creative Networking will become a successful business financially, it’s the time and motivation to continue when things are busy in the family business and at home that becomes the greatest challenge.
I’ve learnt that if you are passionate about something, although its tough you find a way to make it work. If it matters this much, if it’s the first thing you think of in the morning than you need to pursue it. Working longer hours, prioritizing tasks and being good to yourself when things don’t always work out is what will get you to reaching those goals.
Change and adapting is crucial for any business owner. If you want to grow and keep up with the trends and the world events you have to be ready to make changes if and when are necessary. Always know that you need to continually evolve when owning and running a business.
Juggling a family whilst running 2 business’s is extremely challenging but at the end of the day, knowing that you are creating a life you love for your family, and your children are seeing your dedication to hard work and success is what pushes me through the hard times and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give someone starting out in business?
1. Do one thing and do it well. Focus on this, be resilient and be open to change along the way. Take the risk but be prepared that things may not go exactly as you planned
2. Understand that a business has many elements that will not be your passion or dream that will include things like accounting, marketing, sales, debt collection, trouble shooting and customer service. Be prepared that you will have to understand that this will also be your responsibility and priority not just what you love doing.
3. Engage in the right support team for you. This could be way of a mentor, coach or support group that can guide and help you along the way. Make you accountable and motivated to keep going when things get tough.
Image credit: Alexandra Anderson, Jam on Your Collar
What is your proudest business achievement? Why does this mean so much to you?
As cliché as this may sound, winning the AusMumpreneur Award this year has been my proudest. It has given me the encouragement to know that I am creating something that will add value to the lives of those connections that I make and I did that on my own as a powerful determined women not just a mum or plumbers wife and that taking the risk and acknowledging a gap in the market was worth pursuing. Often not as just mums but as women, we second guess ourselves and lack confidence in understanding that it’s all worth it.
Seeing the judges and the fellow participants at this year’s conference and awards have so much enthusiasm and acceptance of what I’m creating has given me a new look on my approach to the business model and am now seeing this passion come to life as a real business not just a hobby or something on the side.
What’s next for your business?
We want to be known as the number 1 resource hub for all things networking.
In the digital space we are currently working on building up our directory and resources and developing a national app that will include resources and a networking group directory for all states in Australia. This will give business owners and their staff information on the where, how and why of networking success. It will also include many business support and resource opportunities and information for their local areas.
On the ground we are running workshops at many networking events and working one on one to help business owners and their staff creatively get their cogs moving around strategies and techniques on how to network better and feel more confident in a networking environment.
If you could change the world, and money was no object, what would you do?
Growing up in a low socio-economic area in housing I was always determined to build a better life for myself. I was fortunate enough to have a few great mentors and role models that I could learn from, I believe that this and my determination and motivation to be better and have more helped me create the path I’m on now.
My goal in life is to mentor and teach these children that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, who your family is and what you have experienced in life, they have the ability to change their path because they matter and they can achieve anything.
I believe that a great mentor program that helps motivate children and teenagers to become more, be excited to work and build on their life and business skills through workshops and mentoring sessions to enable them more opportunities to stop the cycle or pattern that they have been brought up in is what is lacking in these low socio economic areas . This will be something I will continue to strive for and create contacts within local communities that can help to achieve this. Although there are some mentoring programs out there, I don’t feel they are specific enough to encourage and future proof the next generation of workers.
Finally, what do you believe is the secret to success?
Success isn’t a onetime thing, it’s an ongoing process. A step by step life journey being true to your values, following your true passion, accepting criticism and advice from those who matter, surrounding yourself with those who will support your cause and challenging yourself everyday to be better. Loving what you do and knowing that your inspiring so many people to follow in your determination to strive for more than what you think is possible. Getting up every morning to achieve greater things then yesterday, that to me is the secret.
I’m also learning to acknowledge and celebrate the small wins.
When things get tough and I want to give up I always say to myself
“I am more, I matter, and I can have it all”
If we can teach our future generation this, we have all succeeded.
To learn more about Renee and CRG Creative Networking, please visit :-