Business inspiration and wisdom for women, women entrepreneurs and small business owners
Before you start reading today’s Wednesday Wisdom and think to yourself, “There goes Tracy talking about another running experience,” I want you to purposely put yourself in my shoes today as the main character of this story; but instead of imagining yourself running in sneakers on a large training goal, put yourself in your favorite shoes as you “run” your business on your way to a new goal. Ready to imagine – here we go.
It’s a beautiful warm sunny day; the sky is clear, the wind light and nothing stormy in sight. You start off “running.” Your pace is perfect. You are advancing on time to get to your “goal,” and there is nothing stopping you. The path is smooth, the view breathtaking and your energy high. All of a sudden half way to your goal the temperature starts really warming up, you start slowing down, you stumble tripping on a large stick, stop to grab a breath and wonder what am I doing? You have already forgotten what the beginning of the “run” felt like and the goal you were heading for.
You decide to turn around to go back to the start feeling like you simply can’t hit your goal, then all of a sudden you hear a voice inside say, “Turn around you are hitting that goal no matter what.” Off you go back in the direction of your goal more determined than ever to achieve it proving you are on the right path with the right accomplishment in sight.
Then all of a sudden you are 75% towards your goal when trepidation sets in again as you realize you forgot to pack supplies, supporters and essentials to get you the rest of the way. You can’t imagine you can complete the goal without these support items. Similarly today I forgot my water and asthma medicine and my progress slowed to a crawl. I’m confident if I planned better I would have sailed to the goal much easier. But honestly I got too excited to get going and ultimately made it a much harder run than it had to be. Sound familiar with any of your new business ideas?
Today’s inspirational post is meant to enlighten your own path to a big success and motivate you to be really prepared from start to end to hit the goal. You must be confident you are ready to “take-off” and then run at a pace that makes sense. Don’t allow difficult moments in the race to turn back. Stock up on supplies, money, and supporters when the going gets tough. Maintain the right pace throughout the venture to allow yourself to finish successfully.
We can get so excited about the big entrepreneurial goal envisioning the champagne flowing, trophy by our side and confetti settling around us that we forget what it truly takes to survive the journey and accomplish the goal. Be prepared, steady, confident and determined and you’ll cross that proverbial finish line.
Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners
The phone rings again. It is a call from my son in New York City heading to another job interview. Every time he has an interview he calls to rehearse his background, experiences and references. Always at the end of the call I say to him, “Make sure you ask about the salary and ensure you get the pay you deserve and if not ask for more.” The answer is always the same, “I know, I know, Mom.”
I’m sure I am not the only woman who gives advice and shares mistakes with others, especially life lessons like landing a first job or first client as a fresh entrepreneur. I am also positive I’m not the only person who didn’t get a larger salary in the beginning of her professional career because I didn’t ask for more. I recall my first job living in Philadelphia as an Assistant to the Corporate Vice President of an Investment Banking Firm as my “red pepper experience,” because I was only making $12,000 a year (with a $3,000 bonus promised at Christmas) and cried in a neighborhood market one day when I couldn’t afford to buy a fresh red pepper. It might be a silly story but I wanted that red pepper and I couldn’t afford it.
Honestly as a two decade entrepreneur, I still sometimes struggle with the amount I list on a contract for business services, always going back to thinking I’m asking too much. When I do, I drift back to the big red pepper sitting in the palm of my hand wishing I had more money to buy it. The vision triggers me to implore my son to make sure he gets paid well for his first job. It also forces me to make sure I am asking the right price for my services because my experience says I deserve it.
Today blog post is to invite you to think of the meaning of the red pepper when you are in the middle of pricing your services or products, preparing a proposal, asking for a raise or accepting a new job. Make sure you are getting the price you deserve for the amount of education, experience and wisdom you have to share with your customer or employer. We are responsible for what we get paid, no one else is. We must be stronger, wiser and more confident when it comes to asking for our fair wage.
I love red peppers. I love making money. I sometimes don’t like asking for money but the only way to be a truly successful entrepreneur is to ensure getting paid the right amount the first time so we can pay the bills, pay ourselves and pay for those “red pepper” items we deserve.
Inspiration, Wisdom and Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Female Business Owners
As another Columbus Day kicks off, I greeted the sunny, cool, frosty morning with a deep heavy sigh. A sigh you say? Yes, a sigh. Even this beautiful morning couldn’t bring my energy level up to where it typically is at the start of a new work week, especially on a holiday morning. If you were like me and went to bed after watching the Election Debate last night you might have the same feeling I do this morning. My almost always optimistic, energetic self is missing. The debates drained my positive outlook on the world today.
I have always been someone who searches for the positive in life and business. I’m a half glass full girl. I spend most of my days encouraging other women to think better about their business outlook. I meditate, run, and do yoga to stay happily balanced. As the oldest of 8 kids, I have always tried to keep the “peace” in our family. But the political debates, pundits bickering, 24 hour news cycle chewing up repetitive bad perspectives on the candidates is making me feel ill. I worry about the effects this election will ultimately have on the country’s future – especially my son’s future.
So instead of starting my day listening all over again to the same critiques and negative spins on last night’s event, I choose to be silent. I didn’t turn on the TV or the radio or my iPod. I allowed the silence of the morning to envelope me and set my mind for the day. Quiet. Peace. Stillness. I suggest you do the same thing. Silence is required sometime to go back to center and focus on our own individual lives.
Here are a few activities you can do to establish a calm business day;
* Turn on relaxing music, like a meditation, or yoga music on your computer. Do not turn on the radio or television until after work hours.
* Prioritize your day with positive, work producing tasks that will bring you delight, interactions with positive people and confidence in your entrepreneurial life.
*Pick one activity like running, going for a walk, meeting a friend for coffee, talking to a relative or writing a blog post to keep yourself off maniac main street media today. Settle your mind.
* Create a list of 3 positive, new things you want to do within your business along with a timeline to accomplish them and focus on the energy of creating something new.
* Read instead of watching television or checking your phone and transport your mind into another place and time filled with new characters and circumstances.
It is okay to let the “real world” behind periodically to re-adjust our thinking, mood or insights. We all need a break from negative messages, spins and outcomes. The world isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Claim your own happiness today in your own corner of the world and be grateful for silence.
Business advice and inspiration for women entrepreneurs and female business owners
Just like chapters in a book end with a story line including facts, characters and plots that intrigue readers, so does the following chapter. In fact, the next chapter can intrigue us so much we want to speed through the current narrative to get to the next one. Have you ever had to slow down, go back and re-read a piece because you realized you were so excited for the next chapter you didn’t remember what you read or the lesson in the pages?
If you have ever been around children, teenagers or young adults you probably have said this before, “Just enjoy the time you have today, find something you like to do and do it!” For me that meant no television, creating plays in our garage and being down at the dock on the lake. Adult Tracy sometimes wishes from those days again especially the part about hanging on my dock at the lake. But I couldn’t possibly let go of this time in my life and exchange it for more than one day in 1979 or I would give up being a seasoned entrepreneur with two sons and a fulfilled life.
Being happy doesn’t mean we aren’t impatient occasionally for the next new chapter to occur, for the page to flip forward and see what is beyond the horizon in terms of people, activities, goals and life. But a chapter can’t change just because we want it to change; we have to wait our time to learn the lessons, meet the people, discover talents and have setbacks to realize the next chapter is just about to appear in one more flip of the old, yellow page.
You are already aware if you are rushing the current chapter of your life away professionally or personally. Are you hurrying because you are done with “now” or simply ready to start something new? Could you be escaping a disappointment, setback or lull in the storyline? Do you just want a new view? Has your soul found a new part of yourself to explore before it’s too late? Do you have more to learn where you are trusting the page will flip, the door will open and the new adventure appear the moment it’s needed?
Today I would like you to answer a few questions. Are you at the beginning or end of a business chapter? Have you just begun to dig into the real meat of this wonderful current chapter? Are you itching to move on in one area of your life or business but feel like you can’t yet? Why should you be more patient now in this place in time? Today is the day to start figuring it out. Illuminate yourself with awareness, and then….
Flip the page. Stay on course. Begin again. Refresh your view. Revive your passion. Look back. Move forward. These are your choices because treading water won’t bring you deep satisfaction. Choose.
Monday Motivation, Wisdom, Advice and Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
On the walls of my exercise room are motivational posters with inspirational quotes. One of the posters is a photo of two parents and two sons standing on a mountain holding hands. The quote reads “Direction: There are two important gifts we give our children, one of these are roots and the other is wings.” Having spent the last eight years letting my sons go off to college, a master’s program and internships in New York City, I’ve had to learn to let go and let my sons fly. It has been those happy/sad moments a parent experiences.
As I ran this morning looking at the poster I realized the “Direction” quote has meaning for women entrepreneurs as we enter the end of a business year in a couple months. In order to constantly direct our businesses and ourselves as leaders to higher levels of success in a new year, we must be rooted in our past successes but willing to fly to take new chances. When we stand on the precipice of an “entrepreneurial mountain” we’ve just climbed, we must bask in the accomplishment. But sooner than later, we have to find another mountain to climb. We can’t stay on top forever. We have to tackle another milestone.
Safe feels good. Safe feels comfortable. Safe feels familiar. Jumping off a mountain, setting a new bold goal, and even watching your last child leave the house for college, is unsettling. But with the unsettled feeling comes excitement. Nothing can stay the same forever – no matter how much we want it to. We are challenged in life and in business to move forward. So we have the choice to move forward in fear or to move forward with confidence – or maybe a combination of both. But we have to keep trusting that our roots and our wings will take us to new levels.
Today’s blog is to nudge you to jump off the mountain you’ve been standing on too long. If you recently accomplished a major business feat by jumping off the mountain relish the moment and accomplishment. If you have been sitting on the mountain for awhile enjoying the view, it’s time to take off to a new vista. If you’ve just started a rigorous new climb, keep going. You’ll get there.
Go forth today with the knowledge it’s much more fun climbing to new heights than it is to sit on top forever. Life is all about change. Direct yourself and go forth with both roots and wings.
Business wisdom, insight and advice for women entrepreneurs and small businesses
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Isn’t every day National Coffee Day? Living with a father who was a Coffee Sales Manager in Portland, Maine for a wonder company called Coffee Pause, every day in our household sure was Coffee Day. He would get up, stumble in his ‘Chevy Chase’ style humor to the coffee maker, bump it a few times, open a pack of fresh coffee and sniff it like there was no tomorrow. He would start the machine contently and then stumble again to the bathroom to begin this morning routine. When you have a father who loves coffee and has a warm sense of humor, you love coffee too and see everything in a better light.
One of the keys to my blogging success is looking at Twitter every morning to see what hash tag is trending. If I’m in a creative writing mood, I put fingers to keyboard and spend 30 minutes typing up a blog post with business success strategies for entrepreneurs in a popular Twitter theme for the day….as I drink my coffee. Many people ask me how I’m motivated to blog 2-3 times a week and I share these keys with them and today with you too:
* Take a look at Twitter in the morning and see what is trending. If there is a subject that relates to your life, business, customers, or marketplace, write a short creative blog post with some of your own insight. Every blogger should have a “personality” you can see in their writings. Write with humor, seriousness, or technically.
* Once you make writing and blogging a priority it will be something you can’t live without doing each day like sipping on your favorite cup of “Chuck” (as my family calls it since that was my Dad’s name). You must make things you don’t like to do in business habit forming like recording receipts, making sales calls, renewing customers, writing, marketing, using social media, and more.
* After you finish a morning blog, it can work for you all day long as a marketing piece shared on social media sites gaining exposure for your company as you do other entrepreneurial duties that bring in revenue. If you get “hooked” on blogging, you will make it a priority while sharing your knowledge with the world (and hopefully making connections to get together to meet new people over a cup of Chuck.)
Start today. Start right now. Go to Twitter and check out the trending hash tags. Believe you can be creative. If there aren’t any hash tags that relate to you, take a presentation, article or even client meeting materials and turn them into a short blog post. Recycle your words. Share your knowledge with the world.
When you are done, go enjoy the aroma of a hot cup of coffee on #NationalCoffeeDay.