The 5 lessons of 2013

The year 2013 was a very special year. The rising star Women on Wings, with a fantastic 5 year celebration with Queen Máxima, shaked on her Shiva shining feets. Partner IKEA Foundation left. After 2 years of hard work and a lot of investments in time and energy we decided to stop the sanitary pads program with UNICEF and UNDP. Hard lesson, but a wise decision. The only big gap: money! Quite essential, also in a social business. The only money left we invested in the growth of our team in India; our team members Ineke and Ronald were moving to India. From March on, the Dutch core team decided to work without renumeration.

In December we can say: we have weathered the storm! We leave 2013 with 5 lessons.

  1. Perseverence: We met people from more than 50 companies , potential partners , we developed the same number of proposals. A kind of an Olympic mental condition you need for this. Travel around, tell your story, convince people, receive rejections, make new proposals, receive new rejections, and this 50 times in 1 year. Happily there were also some fantastic assignments. The first big one in September. This gave us the right spirit for the end sprint of 2013.
  2. Energy: work hard, that’s the only way to bring change. We regularly got the advise to sit back and let go, yeah, now and then – in holiday times – but in essence, we believe that hard work leads to results. Nothing in life comes at you. Investing is rewarding, also in time management.
  3. Teamwork: Women on Wings consists of a great team of people. As of March 1, we have the fees for the Dutch core team put on hold. Everyone agreed and continued working. With full commitment and passion.  That says everything about the entrepreneurial spirit. Even in tough times we keep the dream alive. We all have fallen through the ice once last year due to discouragement of efforts and lack of progress. But happily there was always another team member to take over.
  4. Focus: Women on Wings has a focused mission: creating one million jobs for women in rural India.  We used this focused attitude also last year. With the Dutch team we focused on the funding. Our Indian team managed the clients and the support needed for the activities on the ground. A strong and successful focus for both teams.
  5. Passion: the 5th and the most important one: work with passion. Your heart is your compass. All the rest will follow. With the passion of all the people involved, including the 60 voluntary experts, we proved we can weather the storm.

Looking forward for another exciting year! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.