How It All Started
Two Women and a Marker
In 2009, sitting in one of the beautiful spots at Big Bend National Park overlooking the Rio Grande River, I wrote in my journal that one day I would own my very own consulting business. It was one of those crazy goals written on paper (you know it’s important to write your personal goals down, don’t you?), and hidden in my heart for several years. Finally, the dream became a reality, and it even had a name...Iron Sharpens Iron.
Iron Sharpens Iron is based on the scripture in Proverbs 27:17 that says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This scripture has always resonated with me, as I reflect on each of the individuals that have sharpened me throughout my life.
Interestingly, the root word for sharpens actually means “to cut”. On my improvement journey, that has meant cutting out what is not essential in order to sharpen what is. Some of my ideas have been challenged, my perspectives have changed, and my understanding and knowledge of topics have grown. I treasure and appreciate the iron in my life (even though sometimes, I don’t appreciate it until later, if I’m really being honest), and desire to share what I have learned with others.
Susan Witkowski, the CEO of the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County, is a great honing tool and mentor in my life. That is no better illustrated than with an example from a conference we both attended in 2016. Participants were tasked with sharing a message to the world, with just themselves and a black marker. Together, we immediately realized that our message to the world was “iron sharpens iron.” You shouldn’t attempt to advance your mission by yourself…we are most effective when we help sharpen each other.
And thus, my fledgling consulting business finally had a name…Iron Sharpens Iron. After years of toying with various possible monikers (over the years, there were probably two dozen contenders) I had a name that reflected my passion and the vision of what I could accomplish. Thanks to the skills of Robert X. Fogarty, Dear World’s founder and amazing photographer, I had visual image that encapsulated all Iron Sharpens Iron could be.