/Tag:women in business

Five Steps To Becoming An Empowered Woman (Or Man) Business Owner

As a woman business owner, I’ve found that empowerment comes to us in two ways:

1. Access to external sources of inspiration and knowledge

2. Self-respect and self-confidence

You can sit around and wait for someone to empower you, or you can take the bull by the horns and take action to empower yourself. I will always vote for the latter of the two because it gives you more control over your entrepreneurial destiny.

Although women own nearly 30 percent of U.S. small businesses (according to the Status of Women in the United States website), I find that many of us still struggle with accepting it’s OK to seek empowerment on our own. We often think of it as something that is handed to us. That doesn’t seem very empowering to me!

So, what can women entrepreneurs (and men, too) do to boost our level of empowerment and reach our personal and professional potential?

1. Recognize what knowledge and skills you lack, and find tools and resources to increase your proficiency.

This requires a commitment to honestly assessing your strengths and weaknesses. After you’ve done that, actively seek blogs, books, webinars, podcasts, conferences, mentors, and other resources that will help you get up to speed.

2. Align yourself with positive people (professionally and personally).

I cannot emphasize enough how much this affects morale and motivation. Chronically negative people drain your energy and enthusiasm. When they direct their skepticism and sarcasm at you and your endeavors, they deplete your self-confidence and leave you feeling defeated. As much as possible, minimize your exposure to them so you can fill your life with people who truly care about you and who will encourage rather than discourage you.

3. When you meet people who exude empowerment, ask them if they’ll share their insight about attaining that level of confidence.

I’ve found most people who have an empowered aura about them are immensely gracious and open to sharing about how they’ve helped themselves. I encourage you to reach out to them for inspiration. Even though their approach may not work with precision for you, you will no doubt take away some valuable ideas to apply in your own quest for empowerment.

4. Start the day on a note of gratitude.

I make it a point to devote a few minutes every day to consciously thinking about everything I have to be thankful for. What better way to get a positive start? It immediately puts me in the right frame of mind for dealing with whatever work and life will bring my way. This is so simple to do. I dare you to find an excuse as to why you can’t try this!

5. Acknowledge that mistakes and setbacks happen.

Because they will. The good news is they won’t make you a failure unless you dwell on them. Get beyond goofs and misfortunes by treating them as lessons learned and by remaining agile so you can shift gears and move in a new positive and productive direction.

6.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” or voice your position. 

If people ask too much of you, learn to say “no.” Overextending yourself will create excess stress and pull you away from what really matters. Also, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion when you disagree adamantly about something. Although initially you might meet criticism, in the long run you’ll gain more respect. Most importantly, you’ll respect yourself—and that is mission critical for feeling empowered.

Empowerment Begins With Embracing Its Power

Whether you’re a female or male entrepreneur and regardless of whether you’re just starting a business or have been running your company for years, empowerment wields great power. I urge you to embrace its potential to help you mold your vision and achieve your goals and dreams.

Providing legal document filing services at affordable rates, CorpNet.com helps business owners save time and money. Empower yourself by knowing your business registration and compliance filings are in capable hands. Contact us today!

5 Steps to Getting Back to The Heart of Your Business

1040_4351542The start of 2013 has brought a whole new crop of women who want to follow their passion and start their own businesses to my virtual door.  I love the excitement and energy behind each and every one of them.  Mostly because it is filled with heart.  There is nothing but pure, unadulterated passion behind their motives.  This is more than likely behind both men and women who are ready to jumpstart their lives with a new business venture.

For me this holds special significance because just a few short years ago, that was me.  Eager as a kid on Christmas morning to start my new adventure, I jumped right in….Perhaps, you remember me saying a while back that I made mistakes?  I did.  A made a few big ones and even more little ones. Continue reading “5 Steps to Getting Back to The Heart of Your Business” »

By | February 13th, 2013|Running A Small Business|1 Comment

Want to Start a Business in 2013? Questions to Ask Yourself

232_3071469With the beginning of each New Year, many people take stock in their lives and what changes they may or may not want to make.  We set out to lose weight, improve our careers, spend more time with family and friends, and probably take up a new hobby or two.  A few years back, the New Year goals included growing my own business for me.

I had my reasons: Independence, Flexibility, Diligence, Pride, & Passion being a few.  I sifted through the ups-and-downs of growing a brand, made mistakes, and continue to do a lot of both still.  I wish there was a cheat sheet when I started.  Don’t get me wrong, I would never change my mind or not start my own business, I just would have loved to have these questions and tips set before me when starting.

Before Starting Your Business, Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Are you good at asking for help?  

Do not be TOO independent.  It is a great characteristic and extremely noble to be independent, but starting a business requires help, mentorship, and often a shoulder to lean on.  While being a self-starter is crucial to starting a business and staying on target,  one cannot shut out those around them who can be of help.  Building a new business often involves focus groups, skill-sets that are not part of your repertoire, and a solid sounding board.  Do not try to be so independent that you turn away a good thing like the advice or opinion of a confidante, spouse, friend, or business mentor. Continue reading “Want to Start a Business in 2013? Questions to Ask Yourself” »

By | January 16th, 2013|Starting a Business, Women In Business|1 Comment

Don’t Leave Home Without These Items in Your Bag of Tricks

pixAs women we are notoriously

[in]famous for carrying big, huge stuffed purses & totes.  Just think about it…you know you are guilty!

This got me thinking – what do we really need (and NOT need) in our small biz bag-of-tricks?

I took a long hard look into the deep dark depths of my blue tote bag that I drag everything around in, and realized it was a total mess.  Upon noticing this, I made a deal with myself — I could NOT go for my afternoon cup of coffee until I cleaned that sucker out.  The goal was to clean out items that I did not need to carry around and determine my must-haves vs. the non-essentials.  Of course, while I did this, I decided to make a list of my very own startup women in biz essentials.

With many of us splitting for the holidays, you never know what can happen or who you will meet.  Beyond travel, just heading out of the house or office on errands or appointments can be surprisingly fruitful. Continue reading “Don’t Leave Home Without These Items in Your Bag of Tricks” »

By | December 12th, 2012|Women In Business|1 Comment

Keeping Your Small Business Safe During the Holidays

 

1010_4597064For small business owners who are parents, the last month and a half of the year are even busier than usual.  Not only is there work, the year to finish out and regular activities, but throw in holiday gatherings, holiday shopping, both work and neighborhood parties, present wrapping, cooking, baking, school plays, and often – traveling to see family.  Wait, I am forgetting something.  Oh right, let’s not forget winter break and/or day care closure or vacation time for nannies.

Stack the abundance of stuff to do and places to be during the holiday season with the least possible childcare options available thrown on top of end of the year responsibilities as small business owners, and I smell something burning in the kitchen…literally & figuratively.

During this time of year, it is even more important to have a plan in order to avoid an explosion (and I do not mean an explosion in sales or leads).

Here is a quick list of ways to keep both your business and apple pie from getting burned during the holiday season:

Make Sure Your Embers Burning Slowly.  Although your plate is extremely full with a million household items, keep your business spark alive.  Set aside very specific times to work and intersperse small chunks of time to check off holiday items.  Leave an hour at lunch to run holiday-related errands or wrap presents.  Scheduling the holiday stuff in allows you to put it in the back of your head on concentrate on work during work time with a peace of mind that everything will get done.

Have an Escape Plan.  With days off school around Thanksgiving and winter closures, have a place you can go to get some work accomplished when kids are home.  More than likely there are neighborhood kids home from college that want to make a little extra money babysitting or family visiting who want to spend some time with the kiddos.  Take advantage of a few hours of help and head to a local coffee shop or your office and knock a few work-related items out of the way. Continue reading “Keeping Your Small Business Safe During the Holidays” »

By | November 28th, 2012|Women In Business|0 Comments

Million Dollar Question: Do YOU Backup?

 

775_4681350Last week my laptop started making the most awful noise. A noise that even I could not argue indicated that I needed to turn my computer off and give it a break.  The noise reappeared the instant I turned my computer back on, so off to the Genius Bar at Apple Computer, my laptop and I went.  After a number of consults along with the fact that the computer ceased making the noise as soon as I wanted it to led the geniuses to agree to keep MY LAPTOP over night.   Taking a laptop away from a blogger/writer is like taking a toy from a toddler.  Although I did not scream, I may have shed a few tears. Did I mention, I have now been without my laptop for a week! Anyway, I digress.

The first question the Apple Genius asked me was: ‘do you back up?’ Duh – of course, I do….but, I didn’t always. We all hear the horror stories of colleagues and friends.  Their computers just freeze up and poof everything is gone.  They can’t get it back no matter what they do.  We THINK that can’t happen to us.  Often, I fondly recall the Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw’s trusty hard drive fries and no, she doesn’t back up either.  Yet, I did not back up for years. Well, thankfully, a little over a year ago I started backing-up.

Continue reading “Million Dollar Question: Do YOU Backup?” »

By | November 7th, 2012|Running A Small Business, Women In Business|0 Comments

FIVE Tips to Avoid a Small Business Natural Disaster

 

285_2833216…You may have noticed that I have been slightly absent lately.  Let me tell you why.  My absence is mainly due to the fact that I got twisted up in a Small Business Tornado.  In a thunderstorm of deadlines, work projects, writing assignments, and family obligations, I just simply tried to run my way out any way that I could.  Essentially, ‘I made a dash for it‘ without a plan.  Not a good choice.

I was not thinking clearly, and then I realized suddenly that I went through a similar natural disaster about a year ago and made the same mistake.  Not sure why?  

Was it the Indian Summer that led to the inferno?  All the ice-cream that I ate during the summer months?  The excitement of back-to-school and throwing too much on my plate?  I just don’t know.  I just faced the storm head on without a plan and it knocked me over.

Sometimes being in startup business can be as unpredictable as the weather, but just like carrying an umbrella or a hat, we can do a few steps to prevent catastrophe in business. Continue reading “FIVE Tips to Avoid a Small Business Natural Disaster” »

By | October 10th, 2012|Running A Small Business|1 Comment

How’s the Business End of Your Business?

430_3152363Do you ever get those midnight sweats? You know the ones… you can’t sleep because you’re worrying about your business.

Can you afford to hire? Will you make payroll? Are the people you have hired doing what they are supposed to be doing and getting the work done?  Will it all come together before it falls completely apart?

These scary parts?  They start to ease up and even evaporate once you’ve got good, solid, clear expectations set with the people who work for you, with you and who you work for.

I can’t explain why, it just does.  Maybe it’s because when you know you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, you can trust the Universe will conspire for your benefit.

Setting clear expectations and creating agreements can be confusing and even overwhelming, especially when you’re holding it all yourself. Luckily, you have support. I’m here to tell you that the my beautiful friend and colleague, the truth-telling lawyer, Alexis Neely, is devoting an entire hour to answering YOUR questions, for free.

You’ll get trusted advice from Alexis, in a way you can understand and easily implement. Plus, if you’re thinking about starting a business, whether it’s incorporating your business, forming an LLC , or simply registering your business as a Sole Proprietorship/DBA, she’ll refer you back to us at Corpnet.com as her preferred trusted partner and resource to handle the filing for you. Continue reading “How’s the Business End of Your Business?” »

Here’s to the Female Entrepreneur – My Toast for American Business Women’s Day

1062_4353086September 22 is American Business Women’s Day – a day founded by the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) to celebrate the contributions that women have made to the economy.

As the (female) CEO of a small company that helps entrepreneurs start a business  (Whether it’s incorporating a business, fomring an LLC or simply setting up a sole proprietorship/DBA) and get their businesses off the ground, I have the incredible fortune to work with countless budding and talented business owners. Here are my thoughts on this important day…

In 2010, women became the majority of the U.S. workforce for the first time in U.S. history. 57% of college students are now women. While men continue to dominate the executive ranks and corner offices of Fortune 500 companies, women now hold their own in a number of lucrative careers: they make up 54% of accountants, 45% of law associates, and approximately 50% of all banking and insurance jobs.

But for me, the most telling statistic rests in the state of entrepreneurship. AnAmerican Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that between 1997 and 2011, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 50% — that’s a rate 1.5 times higher than the national average.

More and more womenare coming into their own as business owners. And the motivation behind each business is as diverse as the women themselves. For some women, a business is a great outlet for their energy, leadership skills, and passion. For others, it’s a flexible way to supplement the household income. And for many, it’s simply a necessity. Since let’s face it: living on a single income is not that easy in our two-income economy.

If you are considering starting your own business, here are four benefits to consider: Continue reading “Here’s to the Female Entrepreneur – My Toast for American Business Women’s Day” »

By | September 22nd, 2012|Events & Announcements, Startups, Women In Business|0 Comments

Tips for Getting Back to Work At Home When Kids GO Back to School

76_2535964Many of us small business owners work from home (at least part of the time), especially if we are parents trying to juggle work and childcare. I spent most of the summer providing tips for moms and dads to adjust to the summer break and still reach for goals.  With the brand-new school year on the horizon, I was jumping with excitement.

I have to admit the end of summer was rough for me.  I completely abandoned my routine, took some time off with my kids, went to the beach, and literally lost a big chunk of my work-at-home discipline.  While enjoying the last few gulps of summer and lemonade, I was the least bit concerned with getting back in the work groove.  It was only a little over a week ago, when I plopped down at my desk, did I realize I was in trouble.

This experience was the complete opposite of last year for me.  At the beginning of the 2011 school year, I was prepped, primed, and prepared to hit the ground running with a newly expanded and regimented routine.  As I shopped with my kids for their pencils, I mapped out my fall office hours and 4th quarter to-do list, only to be sorely disappointed when nothing fell into place as I hoped.

I was both discouraged and disappointed in myself and even a tiny bit in my kids for things not working out.

The 2012 school year ushered in a chaotic craziness that I never experienced before.  Of course, I had my kids once again organized and outfitted for success with binders and notebooks and highlighters, but I was not armed for ‘back-to-the-grind’ myself.  I had the supplies, but forgot the plan.  To make matters worse, as I semi-mapped out my call of duties, my boys had a change of heart on one after-school sport and then added a different one making the school pickups totally off-base of what I originally had.

Once again, I started a new school year feeling discouraged and disappointed in myself and a wee little bit in my sons.  It may have been a different year approached in a whole new way, but the outcome was the same.  In the end, I became victim to a sluggish and despondent attitude.

I decided to take a little lesson from my kids.  Kids are so resilient.  When something does not go exactly as planned, often the slough it off.  I watch in awe as my sons wakes up every day to a shining new day with yesterday being a faint memory.  If one plan does not work out, my kids try another.  I know this is not as easy for them all the time or for each and every kid, but I think it is fair to say that kids do not become as easily jaded as we do as adults.

In an effort to end the week right, I put everything away and took a warm bath on a Wednesday night, and woke up Thursday with a fresh (and clean) attitude.  I looked for a new approach to my schedule while inputting drop-off and pick-up times in my calendar.  I also re-injected my creativity.

Here are my FIVE tips for reinvigorating your work at home routine when in a slump:

  1. Do plan, just not too far in advance.  I find that restructuring once a month helps.  Of course, always add in any travel plans or long range meetings as you plan them, but re-evaluate your overall starting/ending times, best slots for meetings and conference calls, and quiet times to get paperwork in order – at least once a month.
  2. Break up your day with movement.  As startup business people, we often trade 9-5 hours for what we assume will be greater flexibility, and then find ourselves living, breathing, and sleeping our businesses.  Do not hole up in your office!  Find an excuse to move every few hours whether it be chunking your errands (personal or business) and having an errand running time slot, walking to the bank or post office, or simply taking a walk.
  3. Discover a creative space.  In addition to moving around, we cannot be creative exclusively in one place all the time.  I often find the same 4 walls of my office limiting…especially, during the last few weeks.  I found that hitting up one or two of my favorite nooks (the coffee shop on the tree lined street and my backyard) gave me the creative infusion I needed.
  4. Write down what is not working, draw a line down the paper, and brainstorm what you may do differently.  Hang it up.  (I keep mine inside the closet so it is private).
  5. My work-at-home mom’s greatest secret – the slow cooker.  As you are making breakfast for yourself and/or your kids, prepare your favorite recipe in the slow cooker.  This allows you to have the most time possible on the end of your work-at-home day without worrying about what’s for dinner, and leaving you some QT with the family.

With these little tips in place, the last item you need to have in place is ACCOUNTABILITY! Stay tuned for more on that in my next post (and if you can, send me a quick tweet to @backngroovemom reminding me to take my new LLC paperwork to the bank….)

Ready to get back to work at home when YOUR kids go to school?CorpNet.com helps entrepreneurs with all sizes of dreams – big, small and in-between. If you want to start a business, CorpNet can help you incorporate as an S-Corp or form an LLC to get your business up and running. They help entrepreneurs start a business by managing the business filings to incorporate a company. Whether you want to form an LLC or S-Corporation or other corporate entity, CorpNet can help you choose a business structure with a free business consultation. Check them out!

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By | September 12th, 2012|Running A Small Business, Women In Business|2 Comments