We did it. Finally, we are the magazine I envisioned six years ago. This change from newspaper to magazine format will help us define ourselves more clearly as the publication that businesswomen rely on for information, thought-provoking content, recommendations, and a sense of unity with other women. It all goes back to the days when sending letters and the quality of the paper you chose reflected the importance of the recipient.

From mothers to lawyers, presidents and CEOs of companies, our readers are some of the most intelligent women I’ve ever met. At times I wonder if we are good enough. Do we challenge readers enough? We discuss news and ideas that get me thinking, but then I’ve always doubted my own intellectual level and my abilities. My father used to say that is what made me smarter than most, and I’ve noticed that most smart women question themselves; actually they question everything, especially in this day and age. That is why I think there is a need for a magazine that can provide smart women with the intellectual stimulation they want.

When I look back at the many lessons learned through my career as a publisher, perhaps the most important came from the presidents and CEOs I’ve had the great fortune to meet. They taught me to give ideas and time freely to those wanting to learn, to pay it forward, so to speak. And when I think of all those who have given me both their time and ideas without asking anything in return, I know I still have a huge debt to repay.

Change is the only absolute in life. I can count on it, I can fear it, or I can navigate through it using the guide of morality my parents passed down to me. But there is good and bad that can come with any change, and I wonder sometimes if my ability to deal with it has more to do with my physiology than my attitude. Do I have a “happy” gene that doesn’t allow me to get depressed? I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt depression the way some of my friends have experienced it. I tend to find good in almost every change, which can be terribly annoying to some, especially when the stakes are high.

My husband trusts that I will make this magazine work, but he’s worried about the change. It is a big investment — the cost of production has more than doubled with this new format, and he worries that the income we generate from subscription and advertising sales won’t come in quickly enough. I worry too. But I won’t let the worry stand in the way of my belief that people appreciate quality and that women will support us with subscriptions (see subscription form on this page ;-). I know that advertisers value the intelligent community of women we have earned.

Our latest Courage to Lead event focused on marketing to women and was an incredible success. We had a panel of experts that included Tony Chapman, CEO of Capital C; Alison Leung, marketing manager for Dove, Unilever Canada; and Cheryl Smith, national VP, consumer and trade marketing, Parmalat Canada. The sense of unity among the women in the room, the shared desire for an intimate discussion, reflected what Women’s Post magazine is all about. The evening had an energy that comes when intelligent ideas are united with minds that want to learn and grow. I mingled with our guests and each group I spoke with had intelligent women connecting, sharing ideas, or offering recommendations. Alison Leung came to me at the end of the night and said that she finally understood what Women’s Post is all about. I don’t think she knew how much her words meant to me, and how such words can work to inspire. It’s amazing how few words it takes — words said at the right time, in the right place — to inspire someone. That is my goal for Women’s Post: To inspire women to be all they can be through words, ideas, and connection.

Sarah Thomson can be reach at publisher@womenspost.ca.

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