Shari Mitteco is a delightful soul. I could feel her genuine passion for supporting women the first time we connected at a Women, Wine and Wellness event. Since then we have connected further and I was intrigued to know more about her adventures in business. With the notion that all things happen for a reason, I had that sense with meeting Shari, in fact we both laughed about it the next time we caught up. When we spoke, there was a level of honesty and compassion.
Women, Wine and Wellness (WWW) is a business system where women can connect and build friendships in a professional, yet fun and genuine way.
Shari shares a little about her background and why she decided to get involved with WWW. “I got into the fitness and nutrition industry because I started my first diet at the age of 12. I was obsessed with “fixing” myself and became immersed in nutrition and exercise. Once I broke free from my disordered eating, I wanted to help everyone I could with unhealthy eating behavior and developed the Diet Terminator program. So, this is what I taught and was a personal trainer for 16 years. I built my business through networking. When I found out the founder of one of the groups I was attending, was going to sell hers, I knew intuitively, the business was going to be mine. I then took it over - 5 years ago. Although still similar, I adjusted a few things to fit where my business was going, as it had changed as well. I coach fitness, health and wellness professionals to have thriving businesses.”
There is also business support for the guys too, the “brother” system similar to WWW. Shari elaborates, “One of the vehicles people can use to develop community, build relationships and a client stream is my system with Women, Wine & Wellness and our “brother” system, “Beer, Buddies & Better Health" (we couldn’t leave the guys out). I teach them everything from how to get started in hosting successful events to how to grow business through those connections.” explains Shari.
She also mentioned recently WWW had expanded into other countries. ”We are based in the Denver metro area with many events here and we are also in Florida, Idaho, Montana, and most excitingly in Australia.” Women can get involved in many ways, “attending events near them, speaking at events, sponsoring tables to highlight their businesses at events, and owning and operating their own chapter to run and host the events.” Shari continued.
Women, Wine and Wellness is a great way to expand and develop an existing business, create more opportunities and join a professional community focused in the wellness industry. If women would like to get involved the process begins with an application and interview process. "If it’s a good fit, whoever is interested then purchases the license to own a chapter and use the tools. Then, we get started with an initial training to get them up and running and there is ongoing support and training after that. It’s completely turn-key. What I recommend is that a woman who owns a business open a chapter as a way to build relationships and community that surrounds them and their business. The event system is part time.”
Having attended a couple of WWW events, it has been a very relaxed yet professional atmosphere. For someone like me who is far from a hard-core networker or sales person, I look for business environments that are genuinely supportive with a positive impact, that are empowering and heart-centered. And, indeed they are out there, in fact, Shari described the business style as “natural”. This is perfect for wellness professionals.
Every person I have spoken to about their business, all have had challenges and highlights. I know on a personal note, both the highs and lows have been incredibly inspirational and have brought an immense amount of gratitude. This was also reflected in Shari’s own experiences, “I’ve met so many amazing women over the years – some have even become my very best friends.” We then spoke about the challenges, "Hmmm….. Transitions are the hardest but also the most exciting.” she says. I had to agree with her. Change can be exhilarating and also a little scary sometimes. It is in the realm of the Unknown. No matter how much I believe I know about what might happen, I only really know one thing for sure - that I must trust in something greater than myself and take the leap.
Shari also shared how she has an amazing support network both personally and professionally. I resonated with this sense of community. I feel that without that added support and guidance from others whom I trust, it would be so much more difficult. Being a lone ranger can have its benefits sometimes, although, when it comes to reaching a mountain top, or setting out across an ocean, a lot of support is necessary. Plus, when I am gifted the company of those who encourage me, I am reminded why I do what I do.
Honesty and encouragement are so important. I feel it is an imperative part of success to have people in my environment that are supportive. The “inner-encourager” also keeps the inner-critic in balance. I feel as women (men have this dynamic also), we learnt how to compete and compare ourselves to each other and this can cause a lot of heartache. I asked how Shari felt about women supporting women and how important she feels it is, “Absolutely! It’s how we thrive – women do better when we build relationships and collaborate. When we all support each other, we all win.”
Overcoming these ingrained social systems and behaviours opens doors where everyone can benefit in various ways. As Shari points out, some of these social behaviours are extremely difficult depending on cultures, yet it is shifting. This shift is sometimes painfully slow, and then, occasionally, as a collective we experience incredible breakthroughs.
While Shari supports women in business, she has also been writing a book and focusing on some new programs that help business owners thrive with community and relationship based marketing. She also shares these words of wisdom; “The biggest mistakes I see people making are either pushing the sell too hard or too quickly. By allowing the relationship to move forward and more naturally, business comes more naturally and it doesn’t have to feel salesy. A giving attitude is key.”
Blog written by Laura Naomi
© Laura Naomi, 2017
For enquiries about attending a Women, Wine and Wellness event near you please reach out to Shari through the contact details below.
For those who are interested in running their own WWW events there is an application form on the website.