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Entrepreneurial Advice: The Business Box Project

April 29, 2015

Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners


A dozen boxes of folders and binders from two decades of being an entrepreneur were yearning to be organized. The boxes filled with folders stuffed full of event timelines, client contracts, thank you notes, press release clippings and photographs were destined to be thrown out if I did not spend a day reviewing them. The “box project” as I called it did not turn out to be a daunting task but rather an unexpected treasure.

In the pursuit of new business, entrepreneurs busily focus on the future networking, selling and making new connections. The victories of the past – satisfied clients, well done business projects, financially successful deals and significant press pieces – get forgotten over time like sunken treasure at the bottom of the ocean. When we are done with a customer’s work or a major project we tend to move on leaving behind folders and boxes of success and lessons.

Karen DeCrowI felt like I opened a treasure chest of gold when I went through these boxes. I found communication from favored clients and community leaders – like the hand written thank you note from Karen DeCrow, the Syracuse attorney and once President of N.O.W., who passed away earlier this year, who thanked me for speaking at a personal gathering at her house when I started Women TIES. I discovered nine years of business contracts from 5 major loyal event planning clients in the 1990s. I came across decades of business articles I wrote in the Syracuse Newspapers, Empire Monthly Magazine and CNY Woman Magazine to help small businesses and women entrepreneurs. I viewed photographs from satisfied customer events and happy clients.

I had an epiphany after going through these golden boxes of business. I realized I have accomplished more than I give myself credit for. I have helped more people than I ever thought I would when I started my first company 20 years ago. I made more money than I thought I would. It is funny how time can erase success from our minds until we return to recapture it.

Today’s blog post is to inspire you to open up your own treasure chest of old client folders, press clippings, customer thank you notes and photographs. If you are lucky enough, pull out your first business plan and see how similar your mission statement is today although the financial numbers have changed. Take notes on your successes, your failures, the events and customers who have formed you into the business person you are today. I think you will find like I did that you did more business than you remembered, helped more people than you anticipated and made more money than you imagined.

theboxprojectGive yourself the gift of “the box project” to reclaim some joy and confidence and remind yourself that you are a successful entrepreneur with a treasure chest to prove it.

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