Resident brings women’s business networking group to Aiken

This was originally posted on Aiken Standard by Christina Cleveland  on Apr 18 2016  at 10:39 pm

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AbigailWhen business consultant Abigail Tiefenthaler moved to Aiken from Florida last April, one of the first things she decided to do was join the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce.

Almost immediately, she was searching for women’s networking groups in the area. She said she was aware of the other networking opportunities with the Chamber and also BNI-Aiken Networks and wanted to bring an ongoing networking group for women.

Tiefenthaler, owner of Sweetspot Strategies, brought a model that she cocreated with three other women in West Palm Beach, Florida. The group, Successful Women’s Mastermind Alliance, is founded on the idea of bringing women together for personal development, professional development, networking, community fellowship and support.

The group was created in 2010 and uses principles from Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich.”

Abigail Tiefenthaler has founded the women’s networking group Successful Women’s Mastermind Alliance in Aiken.
Enlarge Abigail Tiefenthaler has founded the women’s networking group Successful Women’s Mastermind Alliance in Aiken.
“One of the things Napoleon talks about is the collective idea of masterminding, to grow your business and we were like, ‘That’s brilliant,’” Tiefenthaler said. “We wanted to support each other but we didn’t just want it to be gripe sessions. We didn’t just want it to be gossip. We wanted it to be business focused and self-development focused that would make us better business owners. And in 2010, Florida was reeling.”

Tiefenthaler said due to the 2008-09 economic crisis, Florida was one of the few states that was “ground zero.”

“You had women who were starting plan Fs. They weren’t plan Bs, they weren’t plan Cs. Their husbands had been laid off, maybe they were divorcing, maybe they had lost their spouse, so it was really kind of geared toward a slightly older business community. … There was just this need for women to have business support.”

Tiefenthaler opened the chapter in Aiken in September. The group holds its monthly luncheon on the third Tuesday of every month at Woodside Plantation Country Club.

Each meeting includes networking, lunch, a speaker and introductions.

David Jameson, president and CEO of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, met her shortly after she arrived in Aiken and was amazed at how she was able to build her business and endure the setbacks during the recession.

“She has seen all sides of business – the good, the bad, the ugly,” Jameson said. “This makes her very credible as she works to help other women.”

Impressed with Aiken’s business community, Tiefenthaler now calls herself the city’s “biggest fan” and said the group is attracting women from areas in and near the county, such as North Augusta and Lexington.

Among other things, she believes there are a lot of opportunities to get the small to mid-size community to understand the value of marketing strategies.

“(Tiefenthaler) has told me several times that the Aiken Chamber is the best Chamber she has ever been involved with,” Jameson said. “She is not the only one who has told us that, and the compliment makes us all work harder to ensure that Aiken businesses can grow and thrive.”

Knowing the unique challenges that face women in business from balancing family life to understanding how to transition from the corporate workforce continues to be her motivation.

“I am on a mission – a true mission – to help women run better businesses,” she said.

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