#MyGivingStory – Dreamers and Doers

Leslee Hill, WEOC Director


Photos by The NIIC

#Mygivingstory starts in 2015, at the same time the WEOC started. I was fresh out of the corporate world, hot and heavy into entrepreneurship. I was building my own business, focused on being an image consultant. My world and emotions ebbed and flowed, just like the early days of WEOC. The NIIC team was figuring out how best to run the new U.S. SBA designated women’s business center that is WEOC.

One day, I felt overwhelmed enough that I took a few minutes to list all of the things I would like to have in a new job — if I were to close my company and take one. I wanted to be able to:

  • mentor, coach, and guide individuals;
  • present and create the content for which I would present;
  • have flexibility in my day to learn and grow, as well as nurture others and build something important;
  • feel a deep purpose for my daily activities;
  • be surrounded by energy;
  • interact with diversity;
  • strategize.

From that list, I looked online and saw the WEOC Director job post. For the past year and a half serving as the WEOC Director, I now understand that I receive so much more than I could have written on one piece of paper.  Beyond the above, I also enjoy:

  • laughing with clients and co-workers;
  • strategizing for the eco-system, not just my program and client businesses;
  • learning about a multitude of industries;
  • watching the other NIIC/WEOC coaches tear up as they feel so deeply for our clients;
  • experience the anticipation of writing and receiving a grant that was strategically thought out to truly make a difference in the area;
  • promote the clients through many avenues.

Not a day goes by when my colleagues and I do not put every ounce of ourselves into our jobs.  It makes me so happy that we are a resource for business builders in the community. That everything I needed as an entrepreneur, I can provide (well, not everything—but I can try).

I have all the feels all the time about this opportunity. Hats off to all those who are following their dreams! That’s #MyGivingStory.


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