I feel like I JUST wrote one of these for our three-year, and again for our one-year. Guess what? We are now officially one of the few businesses that make it to FIVE years!
Looking back on the last five years is both exciting and a little sad. Exciting: We’ve done so much. We’ve reached over 25,000 students (and that was at the beginning of 2017!) we’ve expanded to additional locations, added classes, added teachers and friends and partners, worked with incredible clients, started a video series and just started prototyping activity cards. A little sad: We’ve had to pull classes for lower enrollment, we’ve held off on our LA location, we’ve lost a few great teachers and staff to other projects, pulled back from a video series and played a bit too safe with some risk.
If you tiptoe around something, nothing is going to happen. To get change, you gotta make it.
So here we are. Five years in and we’re making some big changes. I was actually really nervous about this – yet was thinking about it for almost a year now. I think that makes this a good change, one that we are ready for.
The Engaging Educator is going to focus on women.
We’ve been woman-owned and operated for years. This year, we debuted an Improv and Communication Skills for Women class, started offering free and low-cost improv workshops for women-centric organizations and groups. Both were and are great. Both aren’t enough.
For those of you who know me, I’m pretty hard-core about women-empowerment. I get really upset when people are anything but neutral or supportive towards women. I get even more upset with girl-on-girl crime – those moments when another woman is mean or rude because of an innate jealousy, or rude for rude’s sake, or those people who ‘are just like that’. It’s not an excuse. None of it is.
I’ve been part of both. I had a partner that made me feel so insignificant by saying I wasn’t funny, that his company’s name was contribution enough in our collaboration. I’ve had people at my coworking space ask me if I was an intern. I still get people thinking my husband is very involved in the business (Not-so-secret-secret: he’s not). I’ve had things mansplained. I also have had females in my life who never once asked how EE was going, all but ignore it and when something good happens and I share to celebrate? Glossed over or ignored.
This is a ‘we can do better’ decision. I know we can offer amazing programs that can help people speak up, find their voice, be a better presenter, communicate effectively, connect like a boss – I know we can lift women up. We have to not only develop these skills in presentation, communication, and social skills, we need to be brave enough to show them. We need to embrace the idea that another woman’s success won’t take away our own. The pie isn’t finite – and we are stronger together. We need to level-up our connection to women-empowerment.
So what does this all mean?
Well, starting in January 2018, all of our public classes that are offered through The Engaging Educator will be women-centric. Our partner classes through The Brooklyn Brainery, Input Lofts and Be Social Change will remain co-ed – and they will also offer women-centric classes. Our private classes will be available as women-centric and co-ed.
What this looks like:
Improv and Communication for Women
Presentation Skills for Women
Storytelling for Women
Speak Up for Women
3-Week Improv for Women
Working Out Your Wants (And How To Get Them!)
ALSO! Some New Ideas Coming in 2018:
Interview Skills for Women: Talk the Talk
Networking and Small Talk: Find Your Voice
Be a Badass: Confidence Builder Workshop
Managing Your Team: Women in Leadership Roles
Giving a TED
Learning to be UNhumble: Stop Playing Small
AND NEW INITIATIVES TAKING THE STAGE:
Free Workshops for At-Risk Women and Teens
Free Workshops for Teen Girls
Coaching for Female Entrepreneurs + Side Hustlers
Coaching for Female Progressive Candidates for Office
Coaching for Job Seekers
In the next few months, you’ll see website changes to reflect these new adventures. I am so incredibly excited and grateful for everything and everyone that’s been a part of EE for these past five years. Thanks to the supporters that have continued to lift us up and move us forward. Thanks to the people that broke us down and let us fail forward. Thanks to those with us, those with us in spirit and those who have gone on to other adventures.
In reflecting on this potential decision, I was so worried about losing business. What happens to all the guys who take a class with us? Guys, we love you.
The potential for success and positive change outweigh my concern for failure.
And I gotta remember: Follow the fear.