'I got to fly it'
Baker, AOPA staff join Women Fly it Forward Activities
Click here to read all about how AOPA joined forces with Women Of Aviation Week to introduce four women to aviation on Tuesday. It was a happy afternoon to witness!
|Somewhere over PA|
|Which was is up?|
While I’ve never had the desire to fly a plane, I have always been fascinated with Amelia Earhart. In grade school I read everything about her I could find. I wrote book reports on her life and quoted her often. She said the most profound and exciting things and I couldn’t get enough of her. Amelia's entire life was one big adventure.
In one of my many reading sessions about Amelia, I learned that a plane is actually off course most of the time. It’s estimated to be as much as 90% of the time. The pilot knows this by reading the instrument panel and is constantly making course corrections to get the aircraft back on track. This little fact stuck with me and has helped me reach many goals that I may have otherwise given up on.
When I founded Girls Can't WHAT? in 2005, one of the first things I did was post quotes from my childhood heroines which included Amelia, Annie Oakley and many others. The site started out small and grew, but I held onto those quotes and referred back to them often for inspiration.
Building a business from scratch is incredibly difficult. I have made a lot of mistakes. It has been a lot like flying a plane. I’m off course a lot. In order to get back on track, I refer to my goals (my version of a flight plan) and re-focus.
It has been eight long and rocky years of weathering storms, but today Girls Can't WHAT? is a thriving business. Our T-shirts and gifts are popular among adults as well as kids and are shipped around the world.
Girls Can't WHAT? is much more than gift shop with funky t-shirts. To date we have also been able to help hundreds of other entrepreneurs grow their businesses. For every sale, we give 20% to help other women pay for education, build businesses and feed their families. Providing that kind of personal support is our main goal. That is the destination in our flight plan.
So in essence, I have become a pilot just like Amelia Earhart. My business is one big adventure and I am excited to be here, changing the world one step at a time.
I am at a point now where I can look back and see how far I’ve come. Even with all the screw ups, the disappointments and total failures, I can tell you I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t made a few course corrections and kept flying.
When you’re out there following your dreams, whatever they may be… never be afraid
to chase adventure like Amelia. And when you mess up or get blown off track, point your nose back in the right direction and keep flying!
Author info: Gretchen Cawthon is the artist and founder of Girls Can't WHAT? Gifts (http://www.girlscantwhat.com)
. In her spare time she can be found cheering on her daughters in sports, playing drums in her band (http://fourwallflight.com) or building LEGO sculptures. She lives in Illinois with her husband, two daughters, two fish, two guinea pigs and their fabulous Boston Terrier, Lola.