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See Pink. Live Pink. Buy Pink.

August 17, 2017

Inspiration, wisdom and advice for women, females, young college female graduates, women entrepreneurs

Many people who follow my writing know that I speak on many subjects but all of them related to women in one way or the other. My reaction to any news story, confidential personal conversations, sports coverage, political narratives or business affairs have everything to do with taking the stance of what is happening to the women in the midst of the story. People comment on my need to wear pink glasses but it is because I only can and do see the world in pink with a female perspective, view or opinion in my heart, mind and lips.

A couple women I love shared a few poignant stories with me this week I want to share with you because of my view of these two scenarios with my “pink” glasses on:

* My sister who is pushing for legislation for fair rent in a major city in the Northeast, since most of the community members can’t afford housing in the city now that economic development has taken over their city improving it while raising rents, is now a single mother searching for affordable housing in the city and can’t find it. One reason is because she has children. If she was a man with two young kids would this happen to him? Would he be able to afford nicer housing because he gets paid more than she does due to pay inequality?

* One of my childhood friends is struggling with a boss who drops the “F-Bomb” frequently because of disappointment of her sales numbers although she is doing all she can to sell in a down economy. When she finally secures a good account, he takes it away from her and gives it to someone else. She is being tenacious at trying to keep her job because her husband is out of work and she has two sons in college. She “has” to put up with the abuse in work because she can’t lose the insurance or income. Would this male boss drop the “F-Bomb” to a male employee? Would he threaten a male employee the way he is threatening her? In a world of he-says-she-says, she feels she will be fired and without recourse to take this problem higher up in the company because her boss has been there for 10 years. Do you see inequality in this scenario?

When I was preparing to take 110 women to the Women’s March on Washington in January 2017, I had 50 random phone calls from women all over the country, like my sister and friend, sharing the same stories of inequality in their life. Besides giving advice, all I can do is remain a feminist and activist for positive change for women today….. and my sisters and nieces to follow.

I ask you to “See Pink. Live Pink. Buy Pink.” and do what you can to help with equality for women in all aspects of life today and tomorrow.

The POWER of Collaboration

August 16, 2017

Inspiration, advice and Wednesday Wisdom for women entrepreneurs, female business owners, small businesses

After a beautiful event in the Mohawk Valley two Women TIES members sat down with me asking me when I was hosting the 8th Annual “Inspiring Success: The Women TIES Retreat.” I told them I was not sure if I could host it this year because my Boston Marathon training had taken me away from my business when I needed to be raising sponsorship funds for the event. With heavy hearts, they said they understood but wished I would reconsider.

Serendipity struck a couple weeks after that event when two of my local business friends approached me about their interest in hosting a meeting with all the female leaders of Syracuse’s women’s entrepreneurial groups to discuss the mission of each organization and to work on collaboration between the organizations. Because I have been a local pioneer supporting female entrepreneurs since 1995, I told them I would think about their intent and try to come up with some ideas for a gathering.

As I reminisced the pleas of my members to continue producing the Retreat and the desire of these two women to bring together CNY women in a more collaborative nature, I proposed the idea of P.O.W.E.R.” as a twist off the Retreat for one year to aid the women who had spoken to me.

P.O.W.E.R. stands for “Powerful. Optimistic. Women. Entrepreneurs. Retreat.” Together my two event partners Gwen Webber-McLeod and Laura Serway and I would bring together the women in leadership roles in the Central New York business market and their members to this event so we could all really get to know each other and be inspired together to making our region the most collaborative one for women entrepreneurs.

Since Women TIES is unique in its New York State and regional mission, I reminded my girlfriends any woman in any region around New York would be invited to join us. I have members from Albany to Rochester, Oswego to Binghamton and the Mohawk Valley to the Finger Lakes. I want them to know they were invited to attend because I believe regional women should be doing business together.

Serendipity struck again when the business card of someone in Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul‘s office and Juanita Perez Williams, who is a democratic woman running for Syracuse Mayor, both offered to ask Lt. Governor Hochul to speak at the event for me. How fortunate was I to be blessed with two new contacts to make that connection happen?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you that women are collaborative in nature. Just when you might not know where to turn to get an answer to a problem, sponsor for an event, special guest appearance, partners, and marketing exposure, you get it. You get it because you are use to doing the same for other women. Women love collaboration.

We also need women to rise up and continue to make this world – and our business world – a better place to live and work in. I think the best place to start is on September 27th in beautiful Skaneateles, New York. Will you be there with us?

Monday Motivation: Business Success Strategies from Speed Networking

August 14, 2017

Business wisdom and success strategies for women entrepreneurs, female business owners, small businesses

Success strategies can linger in one’s mind no matter who shares the information with you. Last week I obtained some valuable business advice from a small group of women entrepreneurs from around New York State who attended a special speed networking event. The event was not just focused on a short strong pitch but sharing insight, wisdom and information to others. On this Monday Motivation day, I thought I’d share some of the advice with you.

* Make follow-up phone calls within 7 days of meeting someone new to discuss collaborative projects, cross promotion or to buy and sell to each other. Follow-up is key to successful outcomes in sales.

* Research “HootSuite” to set up your social media marketing posts to go out during prime viewer time.

* Thank written notes with lottery tickets inside them are a great way to thank customers.

* Know your brand so well you can communicate it anytime you meet someone. If we don’t understand our brand, no one else will.

* Always, always ask happy customers for referrals. Set up a system to follow-up with content clients to seek the referrals.

* For service businesses, ask for a $500 retainer before you start work on any projects.

* To communicate well with clients, ask them the best way to stay in touch – text? Email? Phone?

* Give some of your corporate free services to your best customers to thank them once a year.

* You must talk “pricing” to make a decision if customers are right for you, and you for them.

I hope these pieces of advice motivate you on this new Monday morning. Feel free to share some of your best ideas with me on this post.

Setting Increments in Hitting Big Business or Running Goals

August 10, 2017

Inspiration and wisdom for women entrepreneurs and female runners

Yesterday as I spoke to a room full of women entrepreneurs at business events produced by Women TIES, someone asked me how I was able to run in the 2017 Boston Marathon having only been a 2 to 3 mile for the past two decades. It was a great question and one I asked myself as I contemplated running in Boston with Team 261 Fearless and Kathrine Switzer. It wasn’t possible to just believe I could do it, I had to “put in the miles” as past marathoners told me.

Just like a female business owner can’t go from bringing in $20,000 in sales one year to $1,000,000 the next without plans, setting goals and putting in the work, either can women attempting to run their first long race like a marathon. Running a business can be like running in a big race because you need these elements:

* A training plan (aka business plan)
* Dedication to putting in long hours and hard work
* Belief in yourself and desire to achieve the big goal
* Support from others (a running coach or business coach)
* Family support

Before you know it, you’ll be crossing your own “finish line” whatever that is for you. Believe me – you can do it! Today I created a video to share my answers to yesterday’s event questions. I hope it helps you in business or running today!

P.S. If by chance you are a female, why not come run with me and female running icon Kathrine Switzer and Team 261Fearless in Humana RocknRoll San Antonio Marathon on December 2-3, 2017 as a charity bib runner! We want a BIG team in San Antonio! Here’s the link to apply for a bib: http://www.261fearless.org/news/l/261-fearless-named-official-charity-of-humana-rock-n-roll-chicago-half-marathon-humana-rock-n/.

Good Thursday Business Thought: Letting Go, Holding On or Staying the Course?

August 10, 2017

Business wisdom and inspiration for women entrepreneurs and female business owners

Sitting sipping coffee as the morning rays touched my skin flashed me back to a summer memory in Sylvan Beach during my high school years. My Aunt who loved investing in real estate would purchase homes along Oneida Lake and use the man power of my cousin and his friends to fix up the houses so they could be flipped. I remember having coffee with my Aunt during that summer as we spoke about her business.

My aunt was a true entrepreneur in the sense she took risks in business. She began her career without a college education because she was a daughter of an Italian man who arrived from Italy in his youth. Women in his mind did not work; they stayed home and took care of the extended family. My aunt married a man who became a doctor and started finding ways to invest their extra income into real estate deals while living in half of my grandparent’s large house.

Soon her interests moved into owning restaurants which became the places I started my food service career bartending, hostessing and waitressing. She flipped restaurants too. An investment was an opportunity to make money not a business to hold onto forever. Many women entrepreneurs consider their businesses like children or an extension of themselves never being able to see it with clarity when the time is right to part with it or jump into another venture.

There are many ways to make money in business. There are also many opportunities in life to make money and have professional careers. As I sipped my coffee in the sunlight, I wondered how many women stick with the same enterprise forever because they can’t part with the extension of themselves. I always appreciated my aunt’s ability to challenge herself, be successful and then move on to the next adventure.

Today’s wisdom is for you to contemplate your “business style” during this beautiful summer, peaceful day. Here are a few questions to ask, “Am I excited about my business now as I was when I started it. If not, why?” “Am I making enough money to make this one venture my only venture or do I have room to add secondary income or a second business?” “What moves me now that 5, 10 or 20 years have passed since becoming an entrepreneur?” and finally “How else can I make money and still follow my passion?”

Women Entrepreneurs – Dream Big

August 8, 2017

Inspiration and wisdom for women entrepreneurs, female business owners and small business owners

This is a repost from January 2016 but it was a really uplifting one and I loved the “wisdom” in the fourth paragraph. I hope it inspires you today to dream big.

Hearts are racing, hope is mounting, and dreams are brewing as the anticipation grows for tonight’s $1.5 billion dollar Powerball jackpot. I am positive high on the list of any Central New York winners waking up this morning might be escaping today’s arctic blast for the rest of the winter in the Bahamas or buying a second house in Hawaii where the winter winds don’t blow.

Tucked in the dreams of an entrepreneur winning the jackpot might be the same as the non-business owner or it might be filled with a long list of improvements to their company, hiring staff, buying the latest technology, and serving a much larger audience. Perhaps their dreams would include starting a non-profit foundation, donating money to cure cancer or financing the dreams of other people they care about. We would feel unbelievable if we could do all the things a billion dollar jackpot could provide to us.

If the numbers on your lotto ticket are not the perfect match to every red ball rolling out of the jackpot machine tonight, it doesn’t mean you can’t start some of your billion dollar dreams. We might not be able to give as much away or help as many people, but if those items were important to us before we landed the incredible sum of money, why can’t we budget some time and resources this year to do them anyway just on a smaller scale.

Today I challenge you right now to write down the list of things you would do with the billion dollar jackpot to boost your business, support more customers, serve clients better, give to important community efforts, and support funding for health related causes close to your heart. When you awake tomorrow morning perhaps not rolling in the billion dollar dough, I hope you will seriously consider doing what is on your list. We really don’t need $1.5 billion dollars to make a difference, do we? Sometimes it takes recognition of what changes we want to make coupled with the passion to make a change.

I know tomorrow will be like any other day for me as I market, promote and unite women entrepreneurs online and in person across New York State to help them increase their opportunities for sales and create new economic connections. If by chance I have the right six numbers, I will continue my dedication to the women I’ve served for 22 years but with some surprise free funding for them. Whatever the outcome tomorrow, let’s keep dreaming big together today and every day.

Monday Motivation: Focus on Sales

August 7, 2017

Business wisdom and advice for women entrepreneurs and women in business

Many times throughout the day I focus. I find myself focusing harder on small font sizes that keep getting smaller as I keep getting older. I focus on the quietness of a balmy summer morning. I focus intently when a woman calls me asking questions to aid her business. But the kind of focus I am trying to use more is the focus I gleaned from listening to a successful woman entrepreneur last week.

Creating a million dollar enterprise in less than a year is a feat many women don’t achieve. In fact, most businesses in America fail before their first anniversary. So when one of our members spoke about how she accomplished a really big sales goal in less than a year, I listened intently. What I heard her say was how important it is to “focus” on direct, targeted, persistent sales to achieve the goal. Not all women love sales, but this woman admitted her love for sales and her focus in landing major sales contracts which where the catalyst behind her company’s fast track to success.

One of the definitions of focus is the “act of concentrating on a particular goal and not wasting time or energy on other things.” How often do we get so overwhelmed with business responsibilities – large and small – that we lose our focus, concentration and energy to accomplish the most essential goals in our daily business life? As much as we don’t want to admit it, conducting sales must be a priority, a focus, an ever present high ranking priority to keep our businesses surviving and thriving.

Today’s post is to inspire you to focus on sales.

*Make sales a priority.
*Know your target market.
*Go after your target market.
*Ask more times than you’d like to ask for the sale.
*Be confident.
*Be assertive.
*Keep reaching out for new customers.

If you don’t, you can’t continue to prosper and achieve your largest dream for your business. Those dreams don’t have to be million dollar sales goals, but you must have a sales goal and work diligently every day to achieve it.

Just like a blurry image becomes clear once we focus on it (with or without reading glasses), sales goals will be achieved with more direct, targeted action if we focus on making sales our number one priority.

If you are in Central New York and want to join us on Wednesday, August 9th from 9 a.m. – noon for a speed networking sales program, go to www.womenties.com and sign up today!