Knowledge + Connection + Support = Income
This is the winning formula Leora Gruen and I came up with when we tried to encapsulate the power of the networking group.
Having led seven groups — and about to launch another — Leora has watched this formula change the lives of hundreds of women.
Leora was a dedicated educator for many years, teaching at high schools in the United States and then seminaries in Eretz Yisrael for many years.
As an oleh chadash (new immigrant), Leora was entitled to learn various courses through the municipality. She loves learning and plunged into the worlds of coaching, NLP, mediation, psychodrama, and marriage counseling.
Around nine years ago, Leora joined a program focused on building a business. I was a volunteer in the program, and our paths crossed there. She took a computer course as well.
Then she saw that Temech was looking for networking group leaders and applied. “That took off,” she says. “I’ve led two groups in Beitar, three in Beit Shemesh, one in Kiryat Sefer, and one in Yerushalyim, all in English. I also ran a group during Corona called Comona, helping business owners navigate that fraught period.”
In tandem with her role at Temech, Leora opened a private business, offering group and individual coaching to fellow entrepreneurs.
“Currently, we’re focusing on goal-setting and values. What fuels your decisions are your values, so whether you’re working on a business goal, a personal decision, or something else, you should always take a step back and rediscover your values – the “why” behind your goals. Tapping into that will help you find your strengths.”
Leora also underscored the importance of efficient systems, so you can more easily achieve your objectives.
“One of my values is connection,” she shares, “and I love seeing how the networking groups become a community. Something magical happens when women encourage each other’s growth.”
Leora also runs a fruit platter business. “Temech allowed me to view this as a business and helped me niche down. Before that, I was doing event set-up, vegetable platters, and fruit platters. Temech gave me clarity on niching and pricing; I no longer have to reinvent the wheel all the time. Devora Kistor, our group leader, provided both technical and emotional support.
“In my own groups, after having shepherded around 100 women, I’ve seen the participants gain so much: confidence, courage, clarity, and connections. They’ve ramped up their income, given each other referrals, and scaled their businesses.”
“People choose to be self-employed because there’s something they want to bring to the world. Empowering them and watching them turn vision into reality is moving.
“I used to feel funny working with businesswomen,” Leora admits. “I consider myself a spiritual person, and here I was, spending my time helping people earn money.
“Then someone pointed out that when women are successful in their business, they’re better wives and mothers, better ovdei Hashem. I always strive to keep that larger picture in mind.”
Leora starts the groups with each woman introducing herself, giving an elevator pitch, or answering a specific question. One day, the question Leora asked them was, “How do you bring Hashem into your business?”
“The answers were so inspiring. One described being very careful with maaser, another has kavana in Barech Aleinu, another has elderly parents living with her, and sometimes when things get hard, she says, ‘Hashem, this is your house,’ and that gives her energy.”
Because at the end of the day, it all comes back to our values. And at Temech, those values are never sidelined; they are the fuel that charges the growth.