Around 10 million women in the U.S. own a business. The shift that has taken place over the last 50 years appears to be good for the economy, and for families. According to research from Vistaprint, “The survey of 500 American moms who run their own businesses found that 56 percent feel entrepreneurship is good for parenting. Almost every business-owning mom polled (94 percent) said they believe running a business leaves a positive impression on their kids, teaching them important qualities such as work ethic, responsibility, leadership, commitment and self-confidence.”
I found it very inspiring to watch my friend Wendy Marquez as she made this shift herself. Wendy is a devoted mother of two and wife of 22 years. She has been a very active community volunteer for many years and recently joined the local Tucson business community by opening her own insurance agency in December 2019.
Wendy started helping her husband Edmund at his insurance agency during the day while their children attended school. She enjoyed helping him grow his business and felt a pull to do the same for herself. Wendy graduated the University of Arizona with a psychology degree. She not only wanted to put her degree to use, she wanted to find a way she could contribute to providing for their family. Despite selflessly volunteering in the community, raising a family, and helping at Edmund’s agency, Wendy felt she needed to do more.
Opening her own agency was more than the pursuit of income. Wendy knew this would be a great chance to model for her children that women can be much more than the role of mother and wife. Her children got to see her studying to learn everything she could about the business. They watched as she faced this new challenge head on, and they cheered her successes along the way.
It is important to model this kind of drive for those we mentor. Effective leaders possess a drive to succeed that is contagious. Modeling and motivating children to be leaders at a young age can help increase self-esteem and boost their confidence.
“Always continue to learn and grow. Never stop improving.”
In Wendy’s work with non-profits, she herself found many mentors from all walks of life. They helped to model that drive and be an example great leadership skills. It can be difficult to dream for something different than what they see. She is proud to have opened her office near the neighborhood she grew up. She says it is important for young girls to see women in leadership roles and know they can achieve whatever they are driven to pursue.
“The sky is the limit. There is nothing we can’t achieve.”
Wendy says a big part of her success has come from the support she has received from her family and husband. When you are navigating uncharted waters, having someone that you love and trust demonstrate their faith in you makes a very large impact. To further show their support, they recently started their own family foundation to ensure they can continue support as many charities as possible. She also loves being hands on with these organizations and seeing the impact she makes by giving her time. The most recent organization she has been involved with is the American Heart Association. She is the chair for the Circle of Red, a group that aims to ensure the continued efforts of their Go Red for Women campaign.
Thank you, Wendy, for being an amazing mother, a shining example of #LeadHership and still finding time to give back to the Tucson community.