In September, Adventure Out Women launched its online presence aimed at providing a networking portal for the professional woman who surrounds herself with pride 365 days a year. Behind the scenes of this new portal are two women, Dawn Dudgeon and Belinda Ramirez who saw a need for a space where likeminded professional women can connect.
I have the distinct honor of being a contributor to their portal and I recently asked Belinda and Dawn to share a bit about the site and themselves.
What has been your biggest challenge being out in your business
I can honestly say that looking back; I believe there were times when my patience was challenged. I have never been the kind of person to hide things or lie about who I am. What you see is what you get, the good, bad and the ugly. I have been out since I was very young. I never made excuses about who I am or tried to justify my actions. You are who you are, period. Life is not that complicated, people sometimes can make things much more difficult than they have to be. Not intentionally but we are all human and have good and bad days.
What is your long-term vision for Adventureoutwomen – what do you
most want to have happen as the impact of your work?
I believe that we have developed a very unique vehicle of communication for women to share information and provide professional services, but that is just a very small part of what AOW is. Anyone who knows Dawn and I would agree that being healthy inside and out is very important to us. We believe that your mind and body are a big part of who you are. Taking care of it and carefully feeding it can change how you are and what you feel.
To us learning is very important, we are always in some sort of class or seminar and thrive on learning new things and meeting new people. In developing this portal, Dawn and I brainstormed and wrote down all things we wanted AOW to stand for. We took a pad and pen and wrote down all the good things we liked about portals we used frequently. We were able to develop a business model that adopted some of Craig’s list and put a spin on it by writing about the things that interest us and our community and by offering other activities and events that would allow women to exercise their minds as well as their bodies.
Our dream and hope is to have Adventure out Women be the Craig’s list for the lesbian community. Craig’s list is a no frills, very functional web site. One can get information without all the banner ads, and annoying marketing ads to distract you.
With AOW you can network by marketing professional services, posting events and joining us on our outdoor group workout activities.
What is the #1 piece of advice you would give any woman wanting to
be successful in business?
Number 1 is being honest, bottom line. Do what you say, and say what you mean. Understand that success is the intersection of hard work and opportunity. Opportunities sometimes present themselves, be sure to be ready to take them and understand that it is up to you to find new avenues for opportunities. Never give up on your dream and when people give you constructive criticism, take it for what it is worth and use it to your benefit. Also understand that in our small and growing community there are many wonderful people out there who will help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and make sure you return the favor. In the end it is all about networking and making mutually beneficial relationships.
Networking and learning the ins and outs of being a professional
woman can be overwhelming. What’s a simple way for a woman to get
started connecting with other successful women?
This is right up our alley! Well first of all surround yourself with others who you aspire to be like. Dawn and I have some friends we admire who are respected in our community. They started a gay yellow pages in Sacramento called Valley Rainbow Page 9 years ago and are very successful, honest and hard working men. For us we do not limit our circle to professional lesbian women.
AOW is all about networking and sharing information of interest with the lesbian community. But we do work with some professional men who target our audience and have some very good advice and services to offer. We often ask them for their opinion.
What brings you the most joy personally or professionally?
I can honestly say that success brings me the most joy both personally and professionally. For me the meaning of success is not being famous or having a lot of money, neither of those applies to me. Success to me is being content with your life. I can say that I am very satisfied with who I am today. With the circle of friends I surround myself with, with the things I have and most importantly with my relationship with Dawn.
Be sure to check out Adventure Out Women as it grows as new content is added regularly. If you want to reach Dawn or Belinda you can email them at [email protected] and [email protected] respectively.