Tracy Brookham, 36, has always believed that life and business are all about connections and collaborations. She is driven to help others, even as she strives to meet her own goals.

This spring, Brookham took the helm as managing director of the local chapter of eWomen Network, a group that has a philosophy of openly sharing business, professional and personal information and insight with other women.

With a sales and marketing background, Brookham is determined that members of eWomen Network walk away from each meeting with some nugget of information that helps them grow their business.

She speaks from experience. She co-owns Furry Friends and Pet’s Healthy Choice and just sold her first franchise, which she envisions to be the first of many across the country.

Recently, Brookham took time to talk with the CSBJ.

How did you get involved with eWomen Network?

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Ten years ago I decided to start my own sales and marketing firm. I have always strongly believed that it is all about connections, collaboration and the drive to help others as you strive towards your goals, so I was involved in many different networking groups. It was at one of my networking groups that I had the privilege to learn more about a dynamic group of women who came together to do what they call accelerated networking, where there is no first place for collecting the most business cards. At eWomen we have a philosophy and we stick by it: “Through the philosophy of abundance, we consciously and intentionally look for ways to share information, leads, contacts and business. Yes, eWomen Network represents a heart-centered approach which honors how women connect, collaborate and create with each other.” So after attending my first event as a guest I knew that this group took networking to a whole new level!

What made you decide to take over as managing director?

I believe everyone has a purpose and we need to make sure we are always doing what we are destined to do. I know that one of my purposes is to inspire businesswomen to follow their passions and to really have fun in the art of business. When I learned that our current managing director was moving on to her next step in her business, I instantly knew I wanted to jump in with both feet and take the Colorado Springs chapter to new heights. I am a marketing and communications major, and I have been in sales since I was 16. I love helping businesses reach new heights, and currently am co-owner of a very successful business, so I want to share my knowledge and bring my passion to these amazing powerhouse members of eWomen.

What is your No. 1 goal for the organization?

To make sure that every member and guest that takes their valuable time to join in our monthly accelerated networking events, business after hours and wisdom circles walks away with at least one nugget to help them in their business or maybe even their life. You see, at eWomen we all know that we want more business but when we come together we seek help not only on taking our businesses to the next level but we also ask one another what we ourselves will be investing in the next 30-90 days. So, if you need a referral for a personal trainer, or an idea for a vacation the group comes together to share in that as well.

You also co-own Furry Friends and Pet’s Healthy Choice and just signed your first franchisee. How is that business going?

Furry Friends Inc. was founded 10 years ago by my mother Debbie Brookham, who decided her purpose in life did not involve being an executive of a major company that consistently took her away from her family. Well, following in mom’s footsteps a little over year ago I too decided that life on the road as an executive wasn’t where I wanted to be. So after years of recommending to my mom to open a store and franchise her concept, I finally took the bull by the horns and jumped in with both feet. It was the best decision I have ever made as I now have a thriving store where I get to interact with my favorite type of people “pet lovers.” As for our franchising we just opened our first one in Castle Rock and I love being able to utilize my talents as a consultant and my vast knowledge about business operations to watch them become successful, literally almost overnight.

What is your five-year goal with Furry Friends and Pet’s Healthy Choice?

It is our main goal to make sure that we are helping furry friend parents learn about pet nutrition and therefore have a long and thriving life with what so many people now consider a family member, their furry friends. We serve almost 2,000 clients today and strive to double that with our southern Colorado delivery service. But even a greater goal is to continue to bring on several new franchises throughout the Western United States who will also share in our passion to serve the furry friends and their parents with a quality super premium food and spectacular service.

What advice would you give young professionals interested in starting their own business?

To never stop growing. Make sure you are on purpose and doing what you love to do — not like, but love. If you are doing what you are meant to do you can’t help but be successful. You will have a journey, some of it great some of it not so great. I live by what my grandfather taught me, “sometimes you have to say well, and other times Oh well.” Just have fun because as the famous Zig Zigler said we don’t stop playing because we grow old but rather grow old because we stopped playing. Business is an art. Don’t leave your canvas blank put lots of color into it and remember you have to sign your name at the bottom of your artwork so make sure you are proud of it.