-Ginny Grabowski, District Director


I had an opportunity to meet with the SpaceWorks Business Incubator students this week to talk about Toastmasters and business leadership. 

You may think that when you’re starting a business, it’s all numbers and contracts. It’s just business. 

It’s not. 

When you take on the role of an entrepreneur (leader) and take the step away from the comfort of a “regular” job and into the uncertainty of sharing your passion with the world, it’s an emotional roller coaster. The highs are so very exciting. The lows can be soul-crushing. 

There’s fear, “Will people want to buy my thing?” There’s self-doubt, “Who am I to think I can do this on my own?” There’s no safety net…you can’t collect unemployment when your business fails. 

Business coaching groups like SpaceWorks create an intimate space where budding business owners can share these fears, be themselves and find the support they need. 

The atmosphere is very much like a Toastmasters club. Many of us use our speeches to deal with grief, loss, fear, anxiety, celebration and triumph. There’s fear, “Will people like my speech?” There’s self-doubt, “Who am I to give a speech on this topic?” There’s no safety net…once we put ourselves out there, change will happen. 

We create bonds with our club members and we know that a Toastmasters meeting is a safe space for us to try, fail, learn and achieve. 

I joined the group on Tuesday, June 2, at the height of the protesting going on around the country and around the world. The leaders opened the meeting giving time to students to share any thoughts they had about what is going on in the world. It was emotional. People shared stories, past experiences, and how current events are impacting them and what they want to do. 

What does a business coaching group have to do with YOU and Toastmasters?

It all comes down to communication and leadership. Communicating with each other in clubs when we attend our regular meetings teaches us how to handle conflict, how to add humor to a tense situation and how to bring people together through spoken words. 

Every time we take a leadership role, from Timer to Director, we learn how to bring people together to achieve something bigger than ourselves. 

Communication skills are the foundation on which all leadership is built. If we cannot communicate our thoughts, fears, passions and ideas to each other or to larger audiences, we can accomplish nothing. 

At this time in our history, communication and leadership skills are what will move us forward. I encourage you to take your Toastmasters skills and step up to leadership in your own life and in your community. The skills we each have the privilege to practice week after week change our own lives and the lives of every person we come in contact with. 

This has been a tough year. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier. 

Thank you to each and every member of District 32 for the time and effort you have put in, stepping in and making sure that we continue to communicate with each other. 

Thank you everyone who is stepping out of their comfort zone whether it’s in an online meeting, contest or just contacting your fellow member to make sure they’re ok. 

Thank you to those who are stepping up into leadership opportunities that have presented themselves in these unprecedented times. 

Communicate and lead! No one said it was easy. It’s what we do. 

Step into the life of someone else, step out of your comfort zone, step up into leadership.