I chose transformation as my word of the year for 2022. As I reflect on what last year brought to me, it certainly was transforming!

One of the biggest changes is that I took on a partner with SheTaxi. Something I learned during COVID and really came to accept this year is that I do not do well working alone. I need to be collaborating, brainstorming and growing with others. I fought for a long time that I needed to be the sole driver (no pun intended) of SheTaxi, yet I wasn’t making the progress that I had hoped. The business wasn’t motivating me, it was hard to get traction and keep my energy up.

Segue my new partner, Kristi Ackley. During the summer, I saw posts coming through on LinkedIn and Facebook about an upcoming 12-week workshop for women in business. It was being held by Fair Winds Consulting, LLC (Kristi’s business) and among the presenters were a list of many of my peers in Rochester. Yet, I didn’t know Kristi, was very skeptical and disappointed that I wasn’t on the roster.

I showed my husband some of the posts and he said, “wow, that sounds like you.” Which annoyed me at the time, and I reacted by saying a big, “I know!” In my head, I’m thinking, who is this gal? And what is she doing executing a workshop that I have talked about doing myself for the last couple of years. I fretted about Kristi for a week before I decided to reach out to her and introduce myself. As the saying going, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Kristi responded to my email by saying that she’d be game to get together and looked forward to it. Going into my lunch with her, I didn’t know what to expect. Low and behold, after an almost three-hour lunch, I made a new friend and colleague. I thoroughly enjoyed my time talking with her about everything from business ownership to the nonprofit industry to how women were impacted by COVID. It was lovely!

When I got home, my husband asked how it went and I said, “awesome! She’s fantastic and I can’t wait to see her again.” I could have talked with Kristi all day long. She is bright, kind, smart, sharp and an overall good human. People tell me about how they like my energy. Well, I really, really liked Kristi’s energy and haven’t felt that way about someone for a long time. She’s the ying to my yang.

I am so lucky to have a business partner that is authentic, creative, strategic and desires to do good in the world. I have much higher sense of security with Kristi alongside me. We’re just getting started and I can’t wait to see where we are a year from now.

Kristi is just what I needed and came into my life at a time when I was finally ready to acknowledge that I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) do it alone. Now that’s…. transformation.

Welcome to SheTaxi Kristi! We got this! 

PEGGY PAUL, Founder of SheTaxi

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