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7 Habits of A Successful Woman Entrepreneur

October 7, 2013

TracyRetreat2011

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

A month ago, I was asked by the Syracuse Centerstate CEO to share 7 habits I believed made me a highly successful person. Always with a business focus in mind, I shared my top 7 professional success strategies with an audience of 100 hoping it would inspire someone else in the crowd. I was an honor to be asked and to thought of so favorably. I thought today’s blog post would be different than my normal writing style. Today I am sharing my 7 habits of success hoping it inspires a larger demographic of business people.

1. “Have and Live by a Personal Business Mission Statement” – I don’t think I would be on this panel today if it wasn’t because I live by a very strong personal business mission. I think every entrepreneur or professional should have one. My mission is to help women entrepreneurs increase their revenue opportunities by expanding their local, state and regional marketplace in New York State because women still earn less than men. I’ve been inspired to help women become more financially successful over the past 19 years because women still earn 72 cents on every dollar a man earns. Through my expertise in PR, event planning and publicity, I recognized I was able to promote women entrepreneurs extensively online, at 40 events per year and through social media marketing to help brand their names and increase their opportunities for sales. Having this strong and vibrant message has propelled me forward the past 8 years with my second company Women TIES.

2. “To Be Innovative” – I think entrepreneurs are more successful if they are creating new ways of doing something within their industry. In my case, I created a new company that had a mission of doing something no other business I knew was doing. I wanted to create a “local, state and regional marketplace” for women entrepreneurs in New York State so they would do business with each other. I believe very strongly in the buying and selling power of women. Similar to the Chamber’s philosophy, we can individually and collectively grow stronger if we work with others not only in our local area but regionally and state-wide. We need to erase the geographic barriers between us and our economic neighbors around the state. It is very easy to get on the road and travel to open up one;s marketplace in another geographic region. I encourage you and other business owners to continue to think outside of the box as you begin or continue your entrepreneurial journey. Create something new. Definitely be innovative in your thoughts and actions.

3. “Embrace Education”- I am proud to be on this panel with the President of SUNY Oswego Deborah Stanley who was also my college law professor at Oswego State. Education has always been a focus of my life after graduating from SUNY Oswego as a business major. I have taken post graduate classes to succeed professionally. And currently by producing 40 educational events a year for women to learn vital business information, I educate myself constantly. I believe all individuals – but especially entrepreneurs – should always be learning. It is the key to current and future achievement.

4. “5 Times Sales” Rule. These are one of those habits I have adapted after listening to a couple smart women entrepreneurs. I use to give up on a potential client or new member if they didn’t respond to my first or second sales call. But now I don’t give up the sales pursuit until after I’ve made the fifth call. Once I implemented this habit 3 years ago, I retained more members and secured new ones. I learned it’s not that someone didn’t want to take my call or commit to what I was selling, it was because they were too busy to take the phone call or call me back. I pick up the phone more often now and know that “yes” is going to come in around the 5th effort. I hope this inspires you to not give up so easy on sales calls too and to make sales calls an important part of your business day!

5. “Publicity Begets Publicity”. Being in front of you today is due to the publicity I’ve gained and a reputation I’ve earned as an expert within my industry. If you recognize me from the “Ask the Entrepreneurs” column that I contributed to for 11 years at the Post Standard, or the national blog post contributions I made for 2 years on a national advice blog, or seen me on Financial Fitness or Bridge Street it’s because I embraced exposure in the media to market myself and my company through as many speaking engagements, written opportunities and public appearances as possible.

If you are a solo entrepreneur, you are your business so you need to be seen and heard to help market your company. What I found is once you start the publicity ball rolling, it keeps rolling. Don’t assume you’ll be seen as egotistical in pitching yourself for writing or speaking gigs, if you have something valuable to share, you are doing someone else a favor by speaking or writing. So start going after more publicity for yourself and your company today.

6. “Seek Advisors 10 Years Older Than Yourself” I have always looked up to women 10 to 20 years older than I was. I am enthralled with what they have learned and the wisdom they can share with me. When I started Women TIES –which had such a big, unique mission – I asked 10 women who were older and more experienced to be a part of an advisory board to help steer my company in the right direction especially in the beginning years. The great thing about women is they love helping other women. The advice I gained from these women, and continue to get from them today has helped me make very wise decisions that have made my business more successful. I know when men are lost they don’t like stopping to ask for directions but women do. It’s the same in business. I see women seeking out female peers more often. I believe the women who have advised me have made a large contribution in my professional life. So I suggest if you don’t have any advisors yet, to reach out and ask someone older and wiser than you for advice periodically.

7. My final habit is to “Fail Forward.” My favorite quote has always been, “If you don’t try, you can’t fail. And if you fail, get right back up and try again.” I was known as a tenacious child early in life and it has served me well throughout my personal and professional life. No one likes failing. I personally hate it but what I’ve learned the past 19 years as an entrepreneur is sometimes you need to try to succeed at something more than just one time if it’s important. If I get nervous at times about stepping up or out, I just stop and look around at other entrepreneurs and tell myself, “If they can do, I certainly can do it!” And then I ask myself “What happens if I do fail? “ If I can live with the answer to that question, then the gamble is definitely worth taking.

So I’ll leave you with the thought that I hope you don’t let any level of failure keep you down too long and that you try more often than you would like – especially if there is something really important you want to achieve in business.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 7, 2013 3:55 pm

    Tracy, Let me just say you are a true inspiration and have great, down to earth advise for every woman entrepreneur in Central New York and across NY state and nationally. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration!
    Mary Homer
    Fairy Tale Weddings & Events

    Like

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