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Autumn: It’s The Perfect Time To Network

Who doesn’t love the Fall? It is the perfect time for BBQs, picnics and seeing the leaves change in the mountains. But did you also know that it is the ideal time for networking? Don’t think the only thing you can do during the Fall is rake leaves – there’s actually a lot you can do for your small business. Try some of our helpful tips, and soon you’ll be networking all summer long.

Be prepared to network. Its easier to be prepared to network than you might think it is. You’ll need three things:

One thing you’ll need is an “elevator speech” that describes what your company does and what you do. An elevator speech is both short and sweet, aim for a few sentences long and something that is a bit catchy and memorable. Yes, you’ll want to practice this and even try to write a few drafts of it to actually get it exactly the way you want it.

Elevator Speech

You’ll also need to carry a few business cards and/or your cellphone where you go while you are having Autumn fun. Don’t neglect the importance of being able to hand someone a business card, even though lots of folks do like to exchange info electronically. They may not have their cell  handy, and you might want to jot something down on your business card for them.

Have the attitude that you are open to network – wherever you go. Now this doesn’t mean you are thinking about business 24/7 while you enjoy your kid’s football game. But if you wind up chatting with one of the parents and it turns out they need a product or service you offer, the opportunity is there for you – and you don’t let it pass you by. Just be open to the possibility.

Networking

Now that you know what you’ll need to be prepared to network, let’s talk about some of the opportunities that may come your way. Autumn is one of the most social seasons we have during the year. Few can resist the call of the more mild weather months. Lots of us spend time outside enjoying enjoying cooler weather. Even those who log long hours in the office, are trying to get out early on Fridays to enjoy the weather before winter comes again.

Here are a few places you may connect with people to network:

  • On vacation. I was once quite surprised while taking a vacation about a thousand miles away, to be seated across from someone who lived only a few towns away from me! Don’t laugh, because this sort of thing can happen. But even if geography doesn’t smile on you while you are on vacation, more and more businesses are doing business nationally and even internationally. That great couple you meet on a cruise could lead to a business connection. Or the family you get to know at the next campsite could turn out to be a business you wind up partnering with for a project.
  • Athletic events. Fall is one of the busiest times, when charity walks, community athletic events and kids’ sports plan events. This could be the ideal way you connect with someone who turns out to be a helpful business connection. Whether they are someone who is interested in your products and services or they are someone who can be a good resource for you, these events are often filled with people connected to your local community.
  • Kids’ camps. Whether your child goes to sleep away camp or day camp, chances are you will get to know the other families with kids at this camp. Many who send their kid to camp send them to the same camp year after year. So probably you will see them each and every year, it is a great way to get to know people. This could lead to successful business connections for you.

Enjoy the Autumn weather – and be open to the business connections that come your way!

 

Lawrence Reaves spends finds great joy in networking.  He is always looking for new ways to connect with people.  You can follow him on Google+

What Are The Benefits Of Being Your Own Boss?

Im-the-boss

Many people reading this will be dreaming of being their own boss and I can assure you, it is something that I recommend highly. There are so many people out there who absolutely hate their boss and the way they are treated by them, being your own boss removes that problem straight away.

Another great thing about working for yourself is that fact that you get to keep the money you make and through a job life freelancing for example there are hardly any start-up costs.

It is important that you weigh up the pros and cons and speak to as many people as possible about the area you are looking to start up in. the better informed you are the better chance you stand of being successful and obviously this is the ultimate goal of any business venture.

There are too many people who work for themselves that get stuck in a rut and getting out can often prove to be difficult and stressful. You have got to be forward thinking and ambitious if you want to be your own boss and the level of success is often determined by how much you want that success.

Freedom

There are so many people out there who dream about being their own boss and the main reason for that is the freedom that comes with it. If you are in control of your own destiny then you have nobody to blame and the possibilities are endless and the profit that can be made is the same.

We live in a world that rewards entrepreneurship and if you have something innovative and unique and desire to sell that for yourself you really can make a lot of money. It is sad but making money turns into your main priority once education is finished with and therefore it is important to maximize your potential for profit and often working alone is the best way to go about that.

Spend some time refining your business plan and business projections and ensure what you offer is honed to a level that nobody else can compete with. It is the best way to ensure profit and long term prosperity.

Personal Project

Being your own boss can give you the freedom to focus on things you enjoy. There are many different professions out there and so many people make a great living from freelancing. Setting up an Enthuse online profile is a brilliant way to showcase what you can offer online.

There are a lot of people who freelance nowadays and it is important that you can offer something that little bit different. We live in a very competitive world but if you are good then there is a great chance you can make good money as a freelancer online.

A Chance to Shine

Working for yourself is a great way to showcase what you can offer. There are no boundaries as to what you can make and that in itself is so different compared to an ordinary job. Spend some time researching the market and see where that goes.

Josh is a writer with wide ranging experience. He loves to write about a variety of subjects and has a lot of practical industry knowledge that has spanned over 15 years.

Office Stereotypes And How To Deal With Them

Colleagues

Image by: Victor1558

Those of us who work in an office know how spending so much time with your colleagues can really highlight those little ‘quirks’ that they have.

Be it an over-eagerness to please or a loose handle on personal hygiene, they can all be placed somewhere on the spectrum of office stereotypes. Here are a few you might recognize.

The Social Networker

These are the people who spend most of their office hours internet shopping or browsing Facebook when they should be working. Common perpetrators include those whose screens face a wall.

The Relic

They’ve work there seemingly since the dawn of time and they know everyone who has ever worked there.  They were there before you and they’ll probably be there after.

The Reptile

Often the same person as The Relic, this is the one who seems to be operating on a completely different temperature scale to everyone else. Too cold in summer, too hot in winter, they’re never comfortable.

The Gossiper

This person knows what going on in everyone’s life, personal and professional. Usually recognizable by opening every conversation with, “Hey, have you heard…?” and knowing before anyone when someone’s about to get fired. Tread carefully.

The Stealer

They are the reason people have to padlock the refreshment cupboard or hide the nice biscuits. They will not bat an eyelid at taking your lunch, even if you’ve written your name on it. The Stealer is sneaky, they could be anyone.

The Breeder

You know who I mean – their desk is littered with framed photographs of their little darlings along with crayon art and homemade paperweights. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your little ones, but when every conversation starts with ‘Little Sammy did this’ or ‘Little Sammy did that’ it gets old fast.

The Dish Dodger

These people have no qualms with leaving their dirty plates for someone else to do.  They are experts are precariously balancing a bowl on top of a sink already overflowing with dishes in an effort to escape the responsibility of washing up. If they’re that bad in the office, imagine what they’re like at home.

The Silent One

No one knows anything about this person, they come in, work and go home and barely utter a word all day. Not even The Gossiper can find out anything about them, and it drives them nuts.

The Overachiever

The one the makes the rest of us look bad, even if we’re not. They get in early, they stay late, have constant unbounded energy and do it all with relentless enthusiasm. These people are sickeningly good at their job and should be treated with suspicion.

The Exerciser

They run to work, they run home from work, hell, they probably even hit the gym at lunch. Nothing makes you feel lazier than someone who is constantly on the go and not if their chiseled abs can make up for the sweat smell coming from their gym bag.

The Tea Shirker

It’s an unwritten rule that everyone takes their turn to make the tea, but there’s always someone who never does. They’re quite happy to drink the tea, but they won’t make the tea – they are the vampires of the beverage world.

The Creep

Often afflicted with ‘wanderings hands syndrome’, The Creep is to be avoided at all costs. They can always be counted on to make a suggestive comment or a sexist remark and have a tendency to let their eyes roam. They might be friends with…

The Soap Skipper

These people are a stranger to deodorant and showering and are impervious to picking up a hint. Do yourself a favor and try to keep your distance. Why not make things a lot easier on yourself and your co-workers by using Evo Cleaning’s great cleaning service.

Can you think of any other office stereotypes? Share in the comments.

 

Jodie Ashdown is a creative blogger. She’s traveled the world on and off for almost four years and spends most of her free time in the sea. She is a clean freak and recommends Evo Cleaning.

How To Make An Excellent Crowd Funding Pitch Video

Crowdfunding-Video-Pitch

Why you should create a crowd funding video?

Videos are an essential part of crowd funding marketing strategies, and for good reason. After all, crowd funding projects with videos have a dramatic 114% increase than those without them on the popular crowd funding site Indiegogo. The primary reason behind this is the fact that there are people who may be genuinely interested in the idea that needs funding, but are too lazy to read gigantic paragraphs of text to invest their hard earned money. The video aspect sums up the idea of your project in what should be an efficient time frame. So, now that you know that videos are practically required for success, how do you make the best one possible?

Appealing to the empathic nature of people

For one, you should most certainly appear in the video yourself. Many people fail to do this, and as a result their project suffers. When you put yourself out there on the video, it puts a face on the idea you are trying to sell to people, and that gives people the confidence they will need to invest. It’s important to appeal to the empathic nature of people. More than anything else, your investors should want you to succeed, not the idea of the project itself. There is an old saying by marketers that certainly applies here: One should always touch the heart of the consumer before even considering touching their wallet. Putting yourself in the video is the first step in doing this, because it allows the investor to connect on a personal level to you. Remember to keep the video short and to the point. If your video is more than five minutes long, it is time to go back to the drawing board.

You should remember to really show your passion and drive in the video presentation. Putting yourself out there is not as simple as simply appearing in the video and reading from a boring and mundane script. You need to prove to your investors why you deserve their money better than anyone else on the site of your choice.

Prove you are competent

The first step in achieving this idea is to provide your potential investors with a display of your skill. For example, if you are marketing for money to buy new band equipment, the best thing for you to do would be to put up a few songs from your band online for investors to listen to. This proves to them you are good at what you do, and makes them far more willing to invest in the project because from that point on they know that you are not an amateur.

Another way to prove that you are competent is to make sure the quality of the video is rock solid. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need an expensive camera, but you should definitely make things interesting for the viewer. The environment needs to be well lit, and the background colors should inspire good feelings. All of these steps should ensure that your project gets the funding it needs to be successful.

Jess Adriane enjoys blogging about crowdfunding and how to perfect any kickstarter video. When she is not blogging, she enjoys working at an online marketing firm outside of NYC.

Reasons Why Your Business Will Not Be Successful

bad-business-practice1

It might be tough to accept but the truth is that there is no real way how your business is guaranteed to be a total success. There are several problems that have to be understood with regards to why your business might not work out as well as it should. These relate to points involving not only what you are spending but also how you are setting up your business with regards to location, marketing and even your capital for running the business.

Planning

The first reason why your business might not succeed is because you don’t plan ahead with regards to what you want to do. The best businesses in the world are capable of handling what they want to do with a series of goals and strategies to help make it easier for them to do the most.

A plan can involve things like thinking about budgets, what the target audience would be and even the marketing plans involved with a business. This must be used carefully to improve anyone’s chances of having more success when handling business functions.

The next consideration is that you might have the wrong reasons for running a business. You have to prepare your business with a plan that involves supporting customers based on their desires and what they want out of you. Failing to get your business set up with a reasonable or responsible plan is not going to hurt your chances.

Online Presence

There’s also the concern about what you are doing online. You will be less likely to succeed if your business does not have any kind of online presence. Your online presence has to be seen well to make it easier for your business to do the most and to be seen as a more valid option when it comes to handling what you want to do.

Location

Your physical location can also be a real problem. Your physical location might involve a space that is too unappealing due to a low amount of traffic. There’s also the risk of starting up in a spot that is too close to your competition. This could make it harder for you to be interpreted as being unique in some way.

You have to be careful with this when you are trying to get your business to be more successful. Failing to get your business to work with the right location can be devastating because you will be risking your business being lost due to the lack of people showing up in your area.

Capital

The next concern relates to the capital that you use. You need to have plenty of capital before you even start running your business. This capital can be used to cover the rent in your property, the maintenance of the property and even the people that are going to be working for you. You have to get enough of this capital ready if you want your business to survive in the current economic clime.

Marketing

The final problem may involve a lack of marketing. Your marketing skills will be put to the test when you are trying to get a website running well. These skills might involve things relating to the places you will be going to when trying to market your business and the messages that you will be using to make it easier for your site to be marketable to more people as well as possible.

These reasons are important points as to why you are more likely to fail in your business endeavor than if you were to succeed. You have to be very careful to avoid the problems here if you want to get ahead.

Author Byline: Pritam Nagrale is an online marketer & blogger. He writes about part time jobs, make money tips etc. Apart from this, he also provides training & services for online marketing.

5 Groundbreaking TED Talks For Business Startups

TED, which is short for Technology, Education, Design, aims to discuss virtually every intelligent idea in the world and put it on the internet. Savvy business owners know to take advice from anywhere, as long as it’s from a reputable source. These five experts may have differing views on business, but they all can teach methods and concepts that will help your business and improve your bottom line.

Chip Conley on Making People Happy

Chip Conley is an author and hotel owner who started Joie de Vivre Hospitality. He suggests that rather than money and prestige, people should chase what makes them happy when it comes to business. Contrary to most business theories, he feels that producing numbers and making a large profit should not be the measure of your business’ success; your business should be judged on whether at the end of the day you are happy and satisfied.

Rory Sutherland on Details

Rory Sutherland is an ad executive, which may make him particularly experienced at what he claims is what’s wrong with many businesses: flashy and intricate solutions. He talks about finding solutions to your business problems by looking for the smallest details and paying attention to what may seem obvious and right under your nose. He illustrates this concept with a number of hilarious, true life examples using behavioral economics.

Simon Sinek on Inspiring Action

All business is a process of inspiring action. You want to inspire customers to buy your products or services. Simon Sinek shows what motivates customers to choose the products that they do. He talks about how organizations, leaders and companies should stop marketing products by talking about the “how” and “what” of the thing, and instead concentrate on the “why” of the transaction. Why they’re different, why you do what you do, why they should purchase yours instead of the other company’s.

Seth Godin on Getting Your Ideas to Spread

Seth Godin is a star-quality entrepreneur and social media expert. He talks about how to make your startup business stand out in a huge internet world filled with similar products and customers who are strapped for time. He explains how and why you should stop advertising to average customers, since they are too skilled at ignoring your message. Godin points out the brands that are doing this new marketing right, and shows how they achieved their success.

Larry Smith on Failure

Larry Smith is an economics professor, and he it tired of watching people fail to reach their ultimate potential, simply because they are willing to settle for the safe route through life. He thinks it is almost criminal when people settle for dead end jobs and lackluster careers, just because they are afraid to follow their dreams and their passions. He wonders why people would settle for seeing their families as their jailers and their daily life as a prison. This talk is a great motivator for procrastinating would-be startup business owners.

Attached Images:

Author Byline: Don Fielding is a business executive and guest author at Top Business Degrees, where he contributed to the roundup of the Top 10 Must See TED Talks for Businesses and Entrepreneurs.

A Guide to Success as an Entrepreneur

Becoming an entrepreneur and leaving the corporate world behind should be seen as risky, exciting and challenging. While many people would love the chance to be their own boss and make a comfortable salary, there are a number of personal characteristics that set the winners apart from the failures. With some effort on your part, you can learn these skills in order to become a successful entrepreneur. A great resource that will provide you with further insight is the Barry LaBov blog, written by a successful entrepreneur.

Do What You Love

Almost all successful entrepreneurs build their company around something they enjoy. Their passion and enthusiasm are reflected in their businesses’ financial success and stability. Entrepreneurs who attempt to design a company around only a monetary outcome tend to lack enjoyment in everyday work and therefore do not put in the effort required to lift the business off the ground.

Scrutinize Every Detail

Entrepreneurs are organized, efficient and motivated. Every detail of your business needs to be planned and implemented to ensure excellent management from the very beginning. Success involves analyzing what aspects of the business are doing well and what needs improvement. Utilizing good organizational habits will help you make a plan for the future. Without adequate planning, businesses fall into ruin, money is squandered, inappropriate investments are made and bad decisions lead to the failure of your company.

Evolve

Today’s economy and business world are in a constant state of change. A successful entrepreneur must embrace change and incorporate it into his or her business plan. According to James Sun, CEO of Pirq, and advice on the Barry LaBov blog, this means constantly adapting and making snap decisions, even if this necessitates moving away from the original plan.

An entrepreneurial business requires far more work than a job in a large corporation. When you are just starting out, this may translate into long hours while making only small profits. The owner of any company destined to be successful will remain motivated even through the hardest of times. If you want to take your business to the top, you will ignore discouragement, avoid becoming sidetracked and truly believe in your company.

Whatever your role in the company, as an entrepreneur you need to be able to sell. Without sales of products or services, as well as the sale of your own skills, your company has nothing. Entrepreneurs need to be able to sell to their first customers as well as to their investors. Sales strategies will need to change as the business grows, again bringing in the aspect of constant change.

Author Byline: Stephen Craig is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @SCraigSEO.

 

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Alaia Williams

Name and occupation:

Alaia Williams, Business Organizer, Networking Group Founder, and Dot Connector

What do you love most about being a woman?

Though challenges still remain and improvements in our culture would be welcomed,  I feel like this is the best time to be a woman. I didn’t grow up during a time when I was regularly told or treated like I was less than a man or had to be subservient to one. Also, as a woman in business, I feel like I have additional opportunities and resources that have definitely made a positive impact on my life. While the group I run is open to men and women, I have joined organizations for women business owners in the past, or attended events geared toward business women. Those of us who are active, at least here in Los Angeles, are rapidly building connections, and in many cases, strong friendships. Most of the female friends I have made after leaving college are other women business owners.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Fortunately, no. At least not that I have been aware of.  When I started my first business back in 2006, I was a Professional Organizer specializing in residential projects. Most people in the industry were (and possibly still are) women. In terms of the networking group, I think most people are concerned about it being an active groups with interesting people to meet and less concerned with my sex.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

 I’ve belonged to several women-only organizations in the past, but my preference is for organizations that are open to both men and women. I also run a networking group and it has been open to men and women since day one. I do, however, have a mastermind group that only has women in it, and I try at least once a month to have a dinner or social gathering with some of my closest female entrepreneur pals.

Who or what inspires you most?

People who have overcome great odds to achieve great things. Everyone has different capabilities and what not, but when I look at people who achieve amazing things because they worked really hard, stayed positive and didn’t back down, I can’t help but realize that I don’t have any excuses for not making my dreams come true.

Something about you that would surprise us:

If eating bacon three times a day wouldn’t kill me, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

Ask for what you want. You don’t know what you’ll get if you don’t. Ask for what you’re worth. You’ll be bitter and resentful if you settle for less.

Website and social media links:

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski

Name and occupation:

Mag Retelewski, President and Founer of Clarteza

What do you love most about being a woman?

Emotional intelligence.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

To a certain degree yes but I also experienced bias since I was born in Poland.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Yes, I created my own organization and hire mostly women (not by design, but somehow it happens this way).

Who or what inspires you most?

I believe that Passion Persuades and this is the biggest source of my inspiration.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am a violinist (with formal schooling!) and speak more than one language.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Follow your passion and question a status quo.

Website and social media links:

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark

Name and occupation:

Erika Lyremark (“Lira-Mark”), Business coach and mastermind behind The Daily Whip, where I teach beautiful babes to be bad-ass business women.

What do you love most about being a woman?

That it affords me so much choice! (I would have answered differently if you’d asked me this, say, 300 years ago.) I have an incredible array of options as a woman.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

One of the benefits of working exclusively with other women is that that particular hurdle just isn’t an issue. Having spent 9 years as a stripper and 9 years working in commercial real estate, I’ve seen the other end of the spectrum, and it’s impressive. I like where I am now.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Currently there are more than 150 women in my online community with whom I interact regularly – that’s organization enough for me! That said, I am a host for Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle National Tour.

Who or what inspires you most?

My dad. My mom. Oprah. Seeing my clients go from scared and scrounging to soaring pros.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I live in Minneapolis, and not New York, L.A. or San Francisco!

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Treat your business like a lady. Hustle, hustle, hustle, then hustle some more. Always ask for the dance.

Website and social media links:

 

 

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson

Name and occupation:
Vee Carson Owner/Operator Of Las Vegas Shoe Shine Girl

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Surprisingly for the most part I am very respected in my industry, but every once in a while you get one person that thinks you are not worthy of respect as a business owner, and the you’re not as good as them attitude.

I don’t think it has as much to do with being a woman business owner, as much as it has to do with the line of business. Historically not all shoe shiners are educated so people sometimes tend to think you are stupid or uneducated. Its actually kind of funny at times.

I actually had someone give me a card and say they’d pay top dollar for us to work a convention. When I called to follow up he gasped with surprise, maybe because he wasn’t expecting me to follow up. He was shocked so he sighed then paused as he said “ I was just being facetious.” After feeling kinda like a jerk he apologized and I just kindly told him that in the future if we can help you with your marketing efforts feel free to contact us. I don’t think he will ever do that again to anyone else.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Not at the moment. Lately my time has been a little limited, but I love to network with other women and organizations that support women in business.

Who or what inspires you most?

People, experiences and challenges inspire me.

Every time I shine a pair of shoes at a convention or event, and my clients are complimented on what a great idea it was for them to have shoe-shiners in their booth it just makes me want to keep going. Happy customers are what makes it all worth it. It’s not just the bad things that make me strive to work harder, but it’s the good things that inspire me. For example, my husband and my little brother really inspire me. Sometimes just talking to them about something else they will make me have a bright idea or give me something cool to brainstorm about.

I believe that if something is meant to be it will all fall into place not because people say it, but because I have experienced it. When I got my first call and I had no idea how I was going to pull it off, and everything just fell into place, that is when I got really pumped up and inspired. I knew then, it was really my calling.

I received a call for a TV interview from my first client before I even had my shoeshine stands. Amazingly the money, the shoeshine stand and everything came all as if it was meant to be. Three years later I am still here and things are getting bigger and better each day.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I love shoes??? But, seriously I really do love what I do. It is actually therapeutic. I have an entertainment background as a radio show host and entertainer.  I am a also a web designer, public relations, and marketing consultant for small business owners.

I have shined shoes for over 10 years off and on before I started my own business. I gave Mr. Universe 2009 his very first shoeshine and also shined the shoes of many celebrities.

I have a book in the works called “ Not Just A Stupid Shoeshine Girl” and I also have a new radio show called “Shoeshine And An Interview”.

I really love sharing information with aspiring business owners so if I can share some info or tips feel free to send me an email and I will be glad to share what I can to help you out.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:
Don’t do what you’re told! Listen to what people say but only absorb what applies to you.
Don’t tell everyone what you are planning to do because some people don’t want to see you happy or successful and they will try to get you down and depressed so you don’t keep going. If people try to make you feel bad because you are a mom, a wife, or a caretaker there is nothing wrong with having dreams and going for it and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting more!

If you don’t give something to yourself then you will be no good to anyone else! Ask for help. Even when it seems like it’s impossible, remember its not. Each situation is unique and we all have our challenges, but there is always a way to do things even if that means five mins a day, early in the morning, or late at night when everyone is sleep.

Pace yourself. It’s hard to be patient when you want it now, but nothing happens over night. Nurture yourself, your ideas, and your business so you don’t get burnt out, stressed or depressed. Everything takes time. Never think – If I don’t do it now it won’t happen. It will happen. When everything is suppose to it will all fall into place.

Even if you don’t have any money you can still start a business either by taking a few bucks from a current job, freelancing, or creating your own work until you get what you need to get going. It can be done, trust me. I have had my fair share of road blocks and challenges. If people are trying to stop you maybe it’s because you are going to be really successful. Don’t give up and ask for help!

Your local SBA (Small Business Association) sometimes has some really cool people who can offer advice and resources. You can also call your local trade schools and colleges for an intern to help with odds an ends. It’s a win win they get to learn and you get help getting your goals accomplished.

Don’t let other people discredit you or your ideas. Don’t let people control you it will be the downfall of you and your business. Stand your ground, be yourself. and don’t be afraid to say “No” when you have to.

Website or social media link:

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens

Name and occupation:

My name is Cindy Clemens and I am an Entrepreneur/Co-Owner of a Marketing Education Company.

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love being a mother, a girlfriend/partner, and all that those things entail. I love that because I am a women, people I meet are usually instantly more relaxed around me. I am way more likely to get a hug from someone I just met at a networking event than my male business partner/boyfriend (even though he would be just fine with hugs).

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Not really. Sometimes male customers feel more comfortable talking to my partner, but generally it doesn’t mean they won’t talk with me. My industry tends to me more male dominated (at least where speaking is concerned) but that is okay with me since I am not sure I want to step into that role :) . I can’t really think of any time there was something I couldn’t do or that I was held back from simply because I am a woman.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I don’t belong to any organizations that are specifically for women. I used to belong to a local networking group that was exclusively for women and I found that as far as business went it was really no different than coed groups. I tend to not really be pro-women, Girl Power, etc. I believe that we should forget about gender, color, and even age and just look at the person for what they have to offer regardless to those other things. So I guess because of this I guess I have never been drawn to groups that cater exclusively to women. Some of the best business things I have been involved in have included men, and on those organizations I would never have met them so…. :)

Who or what inspires you most?

My daughter. I know it might sound a bit cliché but since the day she was born I have done everything I could to be the best mom I can be. Almost every single thing I do or say or participate in has her in the back of my head. I aspire to have her be proud of her mom every single day. I don’t think I always accomplish it, but I think I am successful most of the time.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am not sure. I try to be myself as much as possible most of the time so most people I know are seeing the real me. But for people who don’t know me yet…maybe that sometimes my friends call me the anti-girl? Meaning I am not a “typical” woman, whatever that means. I could care less about clothes. I NEVER wear makeup and really never have. I went through a phase in high school but it didn’t last. Oh, and I absolutely hate shoes! All kinds of shoes. If society would let me go barefoot I would. My ultimate goal in life is to be so famous or rich that I can go barefoot and instead of being called crazy, people would just say I was a bit eccentric. 

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Just be you. Don’t worry about being a woman or about being one of the guys. Follow your heart and do what comes naturally. You are a woman. If you want to look pretty, then look pretty. If you want to hug people, then hug people. Focus on being the best you you can be and being the best at what you do and the rest will take care of itself.

Website and social media link:

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster

Name and occupation: 

Sandi Webster is a principal of Consultants 2 Go, an Inc. 5000 management consulting firm that provides marketing and analytic consultants to Fortune 500 and mid-size companies.

What do you love most about being a woman? 

I love how creative I can get in a pinch.  I find men do not have the need to be creative all the time so it takes them a little longer.  If it’s a meal and I know there are people to be fed, I can create a dish from what I have in the pantry.  If it’s a problem to be resolved in my business, I try to think of creative solutions that makes the situation a win/win.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

In the consulting business, sexism is subtle.  Clients will not say they want a man or a woman for a particular assignment; they simply ask for more resumes.  As a business owner, I have felt that I was not being taken seriously because I was a woman.  One example is I had a client who barely paid attention to my female business partner or I in meetings even though we were the best fit for the project.  We realized that he only spoke to men and brought a male consultant with us for the next meeting.  He directed all conversation to the male consultant even though he did not know the project well.  At the end of the meeting, the client said he noticed we brought our “secret weapon” referring to the male consultant.  We got the assignment and didn’t have directly to deal with him.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I belong to Women Presidents’ Organization, National Association for Female Executives,  and National Association of Women Business Owners

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by stories of ordinary people who overcame tremendous odds to be successful in life, meaning financial success as well as remaining a nice, well-grounded person.

Something about you that would surprise us:

Most people are shocked that I am an introvert because I am perceived as a people-person.  I speak on panels or to large audiences on a consistent basis, but I’m a thinker at heart.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Find a more successful businesswoman to be your mentor, advocate or advisor.  They will take a personal interest in your success.

Website and social media links:  

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Apryl D. Roberts

Name and occupation:

Apryl D. Roberts, Event Producer and Publicist

What do you love most about being a woman?  

I love the complexity of being a woman.  We are able to appear soft on the outside while containing a very tough interior that is able to take on many of life’s situations.  We as women are naturally intuitive, have tremendous internal strength, while displaying an external vulnerability.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?  

No, luckily my industry is dominated by women.

Who or what inspires you most? 

My mother is my biggest inspiration.  She worked very hard to afford the opportunities and luxuries that I had growing up and it wasn’t easy for her.  I attended private schools, took ballet and piano lessons, and participated in pageants all on her single-parent income. As far as my mother was concerned, if there was a will, there was definitely a way! Her tenacity to never give up or make excuses transcended to me!

Something about you that would surprise us:  

Although my business consists of me producing and attending many events, I am a home body.   I love to entertain family and friends, but my perfect evening would consist of lounging around the house in my sweats with a nice glass of wine and a good book! 

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

Do not let society define what success is for you and your business.  Embrace your vision, embrace risk and model the confidence daily to take you and your business to the next level.

Website:

www.MakeMemorable.com

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