Department of Leaders I Can Turn To: Clean Club Calgary
February 22, 2019
The Power of Peer Mentoring for Business Transformation
How Clean Club Calgary Launched through Confidence, Confidentiality, and Commitment
In 2017, Judith Virag was looking to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Specifically, those dedicated to improving their businesses by leveraging the experiences and knowledge of their peers. As a member of the Calgary Chamber, Judith applied and was accepted into the October 2017 class of the CEO Peer Mentoring program. This one decision to apply, and then begin the Peer Mentoring program, gave Judith the confidence to take her entrepreneurial journey further than she imagined.
“The [CEO Peer Mentoring] program helped me understand my business better,” Judith says. It was the insight through small-group discussions, objective support, and shared experiences that transitioned Judith’s journey as she recently launched Clean Club Calgary, a cleaning business built on experience and dedicated to transforming how Calgarians interact and invest in their cleaning as a lifestyle.
When specifically asked how the program supported her decision to start this company focused on values and relationships first, there were three primary benefits Judith credited.
Confidence in building a better business
Judith was in a state of transition as she gained real control over her cleaning business. Nerve-wracked, her group asked questions that she had not thought of, supporting her in identifying what was urgent in her business, along with what was happening in personal/professional life that might impact business, to help her prioritize with confidence.
With access to different perspectives and individuals to discuss confidential ideas, she was able to gain clarity while talking through her challenges. This clarity in how to move forward now ensures that Clean Club Calgary can focus on making the business better, without sacrificing service or values.
Honesty with confidential support
One of Clean Club Calgary’s driving values is honesty. Having the courage to do what’s right, including having the hard conversations while standing behind her employees should an accident or miscommunication happen is crucial for Clean Club Calgary to thrive. As Judith highlights, “We are all human. What’s important is that we hold ourselves accountable with our clients, while being empathetic and understanding with each other.”
Originally uncertain how to address these types of concerns, her peers highlighted their own experiences, sharing similar stories and lessons. Learning how other business owners worked through situations reinforced Judith’s confidence to continually have honest conversations, even when they’re hard.
Learning from the University of Life
One of the greatest benefits Judith continues to enjoy is that each monthly session is an experience in the “University of Life.” She explains that you are able to work through challenging situations with confidentiality, gaining first-hand insights and probing questions on how one might address an issue.
And, similar to a university class, the consistency of people from session to session, supports this learning experience, encouraging trust, relationships, and an understanding of other entrepreneurs.
Interestingly, Judith’s group is comprised of all female owners. While one-gendered groups aren’t typical, for Judith this allowed her to feel comfortable being vulnerable, sharing difficult items without worrying about being judged. It was the connection with the other successful and like-minded female business owners sharing their own vulnerable moments that saw Judith’s confidence grow as she learned from their experiences and courage.
Leaders supporting leaders
“Peer mentoring won’t change your business overnight,” Judith shares, “but it will provide you the confidence and community needed for entrepreneurs who do not want to ‘go it alone.’” It’s the education process of the program, focused on commitment, communication, and confidentiality, that encourages confidence as a business leader because you’re learning from others who have been where you are.
Curious how the CEO Peer Mentoring program can support your business as it did Judith’s? Visit the Calgary Chamber’s programs page to learn more.