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The Freedom of Entrepreneurship

June 28, 2017

Business advice, wisdom and inspiration for women entrepreneurs and female business owners

Red, white and blue, fireworks, the stars and stripes accompanied by horns and drums and bugles will decorate your world on July 4thas our great country celebrates its freedom. Almost every woman living in the United States today has a connection to having freedom because a grandparent, parent or even current family member serves in the armed forces. Shirley Temple, big band orchestras and large parades were all part of the celebration through the years as our country protected itself and lead the world out of wars.

Although women entrepreneurs don’t celebrate their own freedom running a business on the fourth of July, I suggest we mark that day as a day of celebration to do just that. Working for ourselves means we have freedom from working for a company, independence to earn unlimited money, and autonomy to make decisions to change the world for the better through our products and services. Entrepreneurship equals freedom.

We have fought in a different way to keep our businesses financially successful, struggled with changes in the marketplace and economy that we have no control over that influence our companies and battled through doubt and trepidation when things have gone wrong.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to realize you are blessed with being a free, woman business owner able to start, run, grow and manage a company that women in other countries can’t do and women in our country never risk doing. You have freedom to sell what you want at the price you want to sell it at. You are not controlled by anyone but yourself. You also have independence to change course, add staff and take time off when you want. You control your destiny for good or bad.

On the Fourth of July, I hope you celebrate all the brave men and women who fought and continue to fight for our nation’s freedom but also to stop and celebrate the independent woman you are making a difference in America with your life as an entrepreneur.

Loving and Living Our Brands

June 27, 2017

Business advice, wisdom, success strategies and inspiration for women entrepreneurs

As I prepared for a new business day, I brewed a fresh cup of Starbucks coffee, grabbed my BOSE earphones to listen to the Dave Matthews Band while I work, dressed in 261 Fearless running clothes and put on my favorite Adidas shoes for a morning jog before heading to the office in my Lexus. Like most Americans, I’m a brand loving girl who relies on time-proven trustworthy companies to start my day. I’ve considered switching brands over the years due to cost but never enjoyed the experience of drinking, listening, wearing or driving anything else. I’m loyal to the brands I love.

As women business owners don’t we want our customers to feel the same way? Don’t we want them to crave what our companies promote, refuse to bargain down in cost for another similar product, and keep them from moving over to a competitive brand? I know we do, why wouldn’t we?

I think we get so busy looking for the next group of clients to impress or new markets to explore before we truly appreciate the consumers we have and figure out why they love our brand so much. What specifically makes them return time and again or makes them advertise our company to others?

After spending time recently with two of my elementary school friends who were home from Dallas and Salt Lake City, I realize lifelong friends are like long lasting customers, they love us for who we are, how we make them feel and what we bring to the relationship. We must not get so focused on claiming new business horizons that we forget the most important component of our business – our brand loyal customers.

Today’s post is to remind you that you have created a brand for your company whether you’ve tried or not. Do you feel your brand is strong? Do you think your customers understand what your brand is? Do you really know what your brand is? How can understanding your brand better or improving help your business? If you don’t understand fully what branding is about, take the month of July to read up on the subject or work with a marketing specialist to help you understand your unique brand. It is a good investment in your company’s marketing future.

I hope your business day is full of brand-loving products that make you happy. There is value in all types of relationships even the simple ones like the perfect cup of coffee that makes you feel good every day. Make sure you are bringing a smile to your customers’ faces every morning with your unique brand.

Using Marketing Mondays to Succeed in Business During the Summer

June 26, 2017

Business Advice and inspiration for women entrepreneurs and small business owners

Summer can be a special time of year. The sun is brighter. The air warm. The grass green. The children out of school skipping with freedom. Water balloon fights, watermelon and water vacations are the “agenda” of the week for many. For the woman entrepreneur, summer can be especially busy if she is trying to balance a business, children out of school and her own desires to be outside. I have dealt with all these situations myself and survived. One keep element that has kept me on track was using every Monday as a Marketing Monday.

Here is some summer advice to help you market your business while enjoying the summer too:

Question – When you are fresh off a relaxing weekend, looking at another full business week ahead of you, what is the first thing you do on a Monday morning? Maybe you turn on Facebook and get “caught up” on everyone’s weekend? Perhaps you look at your calendar for appointments, events or programs? Maybe you pick up that phone and just start making sales calls? Perhaps you start your week, finishing up something you should have finished on Friday!

You know what I do before I do anything else – is plan my marketing strategy for the week because I know that if I make marketing my number one priority for the week and commit to doing marketing every single day in between client or business work, it is working to my advantage by drawing awareness to my company, clients and even bringing in revenue. It is the “business partner” sharing my news while I’m working on other important tasks.

So my marketing summer secret is to make every Monday a Marketing Monday. Here are a few of my top marketing “tasks” every Monday morning:

* Writing a blog post first thing in the morning, post it and sharing it. Did you know that Twitter has a popular hashtag called “MondayMotivation”? Do you know that if you write a blog post and then share it on Twitter, Facebook, and other SMM with the hashtag #MondayMotivation thousands of people will view it and you are gaining exposure day long while you work on something else? You have to learn to write or share information on a blog to reach a large audience. My blog audience has grown to almost 3,000 followers once I started blogging every Monday and Wednesday.

* Map out what press releases I could send out during the week on customers or on my business. I produce a lot of events and am involved with a lot of programs so I like looking at the week and deciding when I should write, produce and then send out press releases to the local media. If you don’t know how to conduct a press release, you can use online templates and you can Google media contact information to send press release too.

* Schedule when I’ll write social media marketing news for the week and know what the topics for those posts will be. I don’t randomly share news about my family during the week. I only promote my members and something informational that can help women entrepreneurs or share event news or other business tips or stories with them.

* Map out a day or two for sales calls or sales appointments – because I think sales is an essential part of marketing – you might want to make a sales call to your local media for example and get to know them better or make general business sales calls because part of marketing’s description is “for the sake of revenue production.”

Marketing is an essential task entrepreneurs must conduct in their business every week. Start your summer Mondays off by creating a list of Marketing Monday items you can conduct to grow visibility. Then you won’t feel guilt basking in the warm summer sun once in awhile.

Grit, Resolve and Fortitude – Thoughts Shared on June 29, 2008

June 23, 2017

Business and entrepreneurial advice and wisdom from June 29, 2008

There are times in our lives when we want something so much that we work day and night, seven days a week, and months on end to achieve it. Grit, resolve and fortitude live in our soul.

Sometimes you witness this in ordinary life, a son trying out for a limited spot on a basketball team, a politician fighting for a key position or a volunteer knocking on doors to ask for donations for a worthy cause. Individuals are motivated to dig deep and push beyond their typical limits when their passion for the position or cause is strong.

There are times in women entrepreneur’s lives when this happens too. We work 24 hours a day to finish a large proposal, we invest large amounts of money to bring innovation into our companies and we knock on the doors of big potential clients hoping to land a new account. We do it even though we might be afraid, doubtful, or nervous.

The biggest triumphs in life come after we have given our all to accomplish something important. Winning truly comes from having what it takes to go through the long, hard process no matter if you achieve what you want or not. We are changed by the challenge forever. We become more motivated for the next opportunity. We become less afraid to strive for something larger next time.

Today’s message is meant to remind you that you have all the strengthen you need to accomplish your entrepreneurial goals. Remember you have what it takes to achieve any level of success you want in this life. Stay positive, dig deep, be strong and live big.

Current State of Women’s Entrepreneurship

June 22, 2017

Business advice and wisdom for women entrepreneurs

The blog post information below was found on the website of the Women’s Venture Fund located in New York, New York and shared by one of our Women TIES members Catherine Dare, Founder of TRM Environmental Consulting, LLC Current State of Women’s Entrepreneurship

In the last 15 years, the overall number of small businesses started in the U.S. has increased by 41% while the number of women-owned businesses increased by 59%─that’s 1 ½ times the national average! That’s the good news. The challenge is while there are 8.6 million women-owned firms in this country that generate over $1.3 trillion in revenues, only 3% of these businesses ever reach $1 million in revenues. Why do the majority of women owned businesses remain small sole proprietors?

The Women’s Venture Fund, like many industry analysts, believe that women entrepreneurs fail to significantly grow due to three critical reasons:

*Typically, women launch with less capital than men and fail to seek credit as often as men believing (correctly) that they will be rejected by conventional lenders.

*Traditional lenders like banks undervalue women’s work experience and often cite lack of adequate credit history as the basis for rejecting women for credit, especially since most women seek loans that are less than $100,000.

*Women—regardless of their income or educational background—tend to be less comfortable or experienced with financial data than men and are unfamiliar with scalable business models.

If you are in need of financial assistance, there are many organizations both public and private that can aid you in attracting capital to help your business grow. The Women’s Venture Fund and other private venture funds are just one way. Check with your local Small Business Administration office or if you reside in New York State – the Women’s Business Center of NYS. Get the advice you need to grow your business.

Thursday Thoughts – A New Beginning is an Old Beginning’s End

June 22, 2017

Wisdom and inspiration for women entrepreneurs and female business owners.

In the past week I have shared my favorite quote – “A New Beginning is an Old Beginning’s End” – with a number of women entrepreneurs who are starting new beginnings and new entrepreneurial travels with trepidation. I think it’s impossible to step into the unknown without being nervous. It’s normal to feel abnormal when faced with change. Big or little change, it doesn’t matter. It’s new and what lies ahead is unfamiliar.

I understand how some of these women feel completely as my youngest son moves to New York City on August 1st to join his big brother there to work and live. I remember 22 years ago saying to my husband, “I know I can take what I do for a living and make money with my own company while being a mother at the same time!” I loved working around the clock to hit customer deadlines, making sales calls and marketing because I knew two handsome faces would greet my exhausted soul restoring my light and energy every day.

I’ve been an entrepreneur since my youngest son was 3 months old. He hasn’t known me working anywhere but within my business. I don’t know entrepreneurial life without it being peppered with fitting my workload into bus schedules, lacrosse games and parent-teacher meetings. I always said to my clients, “You have my 100% attention and I’ll complete every project you need me to complete but you need to trust me and let me be flexible with my work schedule.” To all of them who understood and trusted me the past two decades – “thank you!”

The favorite quote I’ve reiterated to other women is, “A New Beginning is Another Beginning’s End.” If you have a hard time ending a major contract, moving from one location to another, leaving clients to secure bigger ones, remember the phrase. If you have a hard time with endings but rejoice in beginnings, remember the phrase. Wrap yourself in the meaning and go forth embracing the next phase of whatever it is for you.

I look back with deep gratitude for the blessed personal and entrepreneurial life I have lived for twenty two years. I must admit I’m apprehensive my “new beginning” won’t be nearly as fulfilling as the past since I won’t have two beautiful sons to look at every day. Instead I’ll rely on the spark and passion I feel when I wake up every beautiful, joyful morning with a heart full of resolve to help as many women entrepreneurs as I can become successful. Life will remain good. I hope your entrepreneurial life is as rewarding!

Wednesday Wisdom: Stretch Your Geographic Reach

June 21, 2017

Business advice, wisdom, inspiration, Wednesday Wisdom for women entrepreneurs

The air was humid and clean. It wrapped around you in a subtle style each time you immersed yourself in it. Friendly people walked by with their mid-western dialect always sharing a hello. Around a conference table for five days were passionate individuals creating a stronger global organization with team members from England, Austria, Australia and the United States. It was the dawn of new international relationships for a great cause.

Sometimes we create our businesses or lives centered on a local base. It makes perfect sense to live, work and play in our own backyard. Eventually we branch out to new destinations because our lifestyle, family or work demands it and we then stay in that space for awhile until the next growth stage. The next time we might expand across this great land of ours or the globe.

If you followed my social media posts this week you observed me in a couple photos in Minneapolis, Minnesota – a place I have only visited on television watching the Minnesota Vikings football games. Invited there by the new CEO of 261Fearless.org, I joined in on a five day planning retreat to share my ideas on how they could expand their brand around the United States and globe. The five day meetings stretched my vocabulary, thinking and operations of business from a center to around the world.

I felt like I was back in college learning new things about people, cultures and ways to conduct business. We worked on flow of duties, multi-lingual communication, one world brand attention and fundraising. It was wonderful to stretch my mind beyond my average daily work duties. The conversations were passionate and like minded. I was enlightened intellectually and culturally.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to encourage you to consider getting involved a national or international organization or unique opportunity this year that opens your mind to a new way of thinking and conducting business. If it has been a number of years working the same way with the same mindset, consider expanding your horizons to working or volunteering with a national or global organization where you can expand your brain, connections and cultures. Just because we have created a safe, successful work environment for ourselves locally, doesn’t mean we can’t also have an international experience to help enhance our lives.

My Midwestern business trip brought me a new love for the Midwest, a joy of working with new international female partners and a new way of looking at my business and how it affects my regional, national and global outreach. Stretch when you are offered the chance.

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