Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

How to Pitch the Media Today


Do you know what to pitch the media when? Did you know there is actually a process and a timeline? I made the mistake pitching my product for Gift Guide’s in November not knowing that the Gift Guides of national publications close in June of that year. Who is thinking holidays in June? That being said, it’s important to know when to pitch. National magazines are at least 4 months out. That means if you want to pitch a story about summer entertaining, you have to send that in February/March. A Back-to-School story needs to be sent to a national publication in April/May.

Regional publications are two months out so that summer story would need be sent in April/May and the Back-to-School would be June/July. Timing is critical when pitching the media. You need to give them what they’re working on. Remember, we’re always trying to get the “yes!” You want to make it as easy as possible.

Here’s a little trick to give you “insider information” on what the publications are covering. Check out their editorial calendars to see what will be in the magazine. This is used mainly to secure advertisers so the advertisers know they are in line with the editorial content but for those of us pitching the media, it’s a great way to learn about what content they are looking for. Here’s a video I did all about using editorial calendars to pitch.

High Energy Speaker, Serial Entrepreneur, Award-Winning Inventor, Best-selling Author, and DIY-PR Strategist, Christina Daves helps her audiences “Get Visible!” Christina offers real stories on how to reach your goals using simple, yet proven, tactics that have catapulted her businesses, and helped a host of others achieve success.  Christina’s energy is infectious and her passion and perseverance ignite the audience with actionable lessons they can incorporate into their businesses the very next day. Book Christina Daves today:

You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up!

You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up

Today is the start of the second half of the year. I am sitting here early on a Sunday morning with a cup of steaming hot coffee considering that today marks the ending of the first half of 2018 and the start of the next.

You are probably like me and spend most of your time working…doing…creating your life. However, sometimes we need to look back and be honest with ourselves so we can move forward.

In other words, you have to slow down to speed up. 
Are you where you want to be in 2018? You likely have accomplished some of your goals and still, have more to do. Same for me.
Here is a simple exercise if you want to evaluate yourself.
1. Look at the numbers.
Can you quantify what has happened in your life and business to show how far you have come? List out your accomplishments. Be careful not to forget the ones that were easy for you, but come as a struggle for others. List out your income, profit, skills gained, weight and your PR in health. Don’t rush this as it is helpful to see have far you have come.
2. Write about your experiences.

What experiences stand out for you? What struggles did you overcome? What moments made you proud?

3. Get clear on the next six months.
What do you want from the next six months? To lose weight…more profit…2 weeks off to travel…write your book (the one you have been talking about). List all the things you want.
4. Find your one thing.

Which of these is most important to you? Can you narrow it down to one thing? Can you identify the one goal or experience that means the most to you? You have other goals and other experiences, but can you determine what is MOST important to you for the second half of the year?

Ok with this, you have something that excites you and inspires you to live a bigger life. It can also be scary too.

What to do next?

I know for sure that to create something new that you have to create new paths to get there. You have to let go of the old to create a new way of being.  If you share with me your ONE thing, I will send you a free tool to ensure that you make it. This is not a sales strategy or some other manipulation. It is a simple way to align yourself with your “one thing.” All you have to do is reply here and tell me what you want in your life in 2018.

Here is you…and your next six months. Let’s create something that inspires you for the inside.
You are awesome!

Gene Hammett

Gene started working with founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurial leaders to generate growth in their business, after his business world collapsed. He studied everything about how to overcome stagnation, tap into sustainable growth, and empower leadership to achieve more. This potential career-ending setback, began a new journey in his life with a mission to partner with business leaders to help them unlock the growth potentials they may not know exist. Since then, his research has been featured in Forbes, Inc Magazine, Business Insider, Success Magazine, YAHOO!, NBC, and Entrepreneur Magazine. As a regular contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc. Magazine, he is able to share his insights with the world and his Award-winning Podcast, is reaching thousands of leaders.  To top if off  he has a Best-selling book: “The Trap of Success-A Brutally Candid Guide to Overcoming Your Fears, Finding Significance, and Attain Profound Success!” and speaks with audiences all over the world. To hire Gene to speak at your upcoming event, contact 888-766-3155 now.

What a Dedicated Entrepreneurial Spirit!

Kay and ShirleyRecently visited for the first time the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The beginnings of this major oil company Phillips 66 began 107 years ago here in this city. In 2002 Phillips 66 merged with Conoco Oil Company and now the Corporate offices have been moved to Houston, with a new name Conoco Phillips. Remembering the Phillips 66 history is very important to this city, and this museum was a great community collaborative effort to make it happen!

Interesting to note that even though the merger changed the name somewhat, today there is another twist to the story because in 2012, Conoco Phillips repositioned into two stand-alone publicly traded companies, one of which is the Phillips 66 of today. You can view that entire timeline of both companies at 

The one spokeswoman I was honored to meet is Shirley Patterson, who now has 52 years of service with Phillips 66, and is not planning on retiring soon! She has many roles, but one she loves is volunteering at the Company Museum!

As you enter Shirley greets you and shares how to have the best experience while visiting both floors. She has personal stories to bring to life what you are seeing and feeling. She actually lived out the history and knew the officials and all the details of what you view as you travel back in time. You will be inspired as you see “the story of Phillips’ transformation from a small Bartlesville business to a global energy enterprise, and the extraordinary people who made it happen.”

Shirley is one of those “extraordinary” people! She is not originally from Oklahoma, but the close related state of Kansas. Her father was with the Walgreens Drug Stores and they traveled and moved all around. She ended up in Bartlesville working for Phillips 66 and raising her family.

You can tell from the spark in her eyes and the step in her walk that she is proud to be an employee of this outstanding company. She is a valued part of the past as well as the present and future. She has received many awards and is an active part of the Jane Phillips Society (formerly Jane Phillips Sorority) which was created in 1937 by a group of female employees at Phillips 66 whose motto is: “In building character, it pays to use only the best materials.” It was named after the wife of Frank Phillips who was the founder of the company. For many years this organization has contributed to the growth of women in the company, and given great service to the community providing scholarships and many needed contributions and services.

You can tell an Entrepreneurial spirit when you see one! Shirley Patterson is a shining example of how to live and work whether for a company or as the owner! Shirley takes ownership of her position and does whatever it takes to be the best wherever she is planted!

It was an honor to meet Shirley Patterson. I was introduced to her by my best friend of over 61 years, Kay Cunningham Reynolds, who is now a retired Phillips 66 employee with 38 years of service. See them pictured here together enjoying a great experience and history together!

Think you will keep working or are you looking for the day when you can retire? It is a personal choice, but as for me, retirement is not in my DNA! Here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency our speakers are wired with an Entrepreneurial spirit and are gifted to be able to help others create and be an Entrepreneur whether you are the owner or not!

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Entrepreneurship at Its’ Best!

valerereneGreetings from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, home of Phillips 66 and my Hometown! On our journey here I was honored to meet many of those special  people who are making a difference in our workplace and our lives! I committed to showcasing to you those stories of hope and success!

Meet Valere Rene Gregory, Owner and Designer of Valere Rene-Handbags & Totes of Rogers, Arkansas! I was attracted to her business, which is located in downtown Rogers, with her creative window displays. As I entered the door she greeted me with a warm welcome, and invited me to touch and feel her handmade bags and totes. She also carries a creative line of jewelry and other gift items.

Her store was very organized and the colors are outstanding! As I wandered I noticed there were open doors in the back leading into the work area. It was well designed, and there was another person at work.

As I talked further with Valere, I learned her husband is a civil engineer, but found he also had some design skills and had created a wonderful design place for her, the front counter, and the work space. All are totally “green” and an inviting place to come and do what she does best!

In looking at Valere and her bright and wonderful smile, you would not imagine she has a serious health problem that had forced her to resign from a successful corporate career. Still feeling the need to contribute to the family income, she began making her handbags and totes out of her home, and using Social Media as her marketing plan, Valere soon found the demand was greater than she could accomplish out of her home and by herself.

So taking the risk she moved into this wonderful downtown area of Rogers, Arkansas, and hired an associate to help her keep the orders flowing and on time. They are now fully stocked and able to handle custom orders on demand.

I could not resist making gift purchases before leaving this wonderful place and experienced first hand the new “Square” display making it easy to do business with Valere Rene.

Valere is still able to be the creative artist, contributor to the future education of her children, wife, and Mom in spite of her health issues.

I was honored to meet and share Valere’s story of hope and success in a world where some feel that Entrepreneurship is not profitable in the times we are currently experiencing. What a great story of “reinventing” yourself and living out your passion and dreams! This is one of the many topics that our expert speakers and presenters here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency share with many audiences-globally.

When you are in the area make sure you stop in downtown Rogers, Arkansas at 210 South First Street, or visit Rene Handbags & Totes   or her website

Sue Falcone Owner: "Simply" Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency
Sue Falcone
Owner: “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency

Exciting New Series “Entrepreneur Mindset…Your Formula for Success”

Thanks to Davidson County Community College Small Business Director, Martha Larson, for this video to promote our “Entrepreneur Mindset… Your Formula for Success” coming to DCCC in October, located in Thomasville, North Carolina!

This series was created out of an idea by Ervin Allen, Small Business Director at Alamance Community College, Burlington, North Carolina. He presented it to me here at “Simply” Sue Speaks!  I took the concept to three of my creative talents, and the series became an experience and formula for success! Thanks to Blanca Cobb, Carol Andrews, and Debbie Wright for all your hard work and long hours in getting this series to a professional package that is being reviewed all over the world!

This series features an introduction to:
Change Your Mind, Change Your Future
Legal Compliance is “Risky” Business
Money Matters-“Show Me the Money!”
Pushing Through Your Fear in Creating and Delivering Your Business Plan
Success is a Click Away: Perfecting Your Brand, Team, and Marketing Strategy
How “Soft Skills” Generate More Money than “Hard Skills!”

It has been presented successfully at Alamance Community College, and Piedmont Community College, Roxsboro, North Carolina. It is currently being presented again at Alamance Community College and is now is coming to Davidson Community College.

The series can be customized to any target market, (this one at DCCC is focused on Cosmetology) and is available now for your audiences. For booking information click on Contact at this site  and send me a message! You can also call me at 888-766-3155 or email me direct at

Brought to you by: “Simply” Sue Falcone, Owner of “Simply” Sue Speaks! Your Global Booking Agency, where “We bring the “WOW” factor to your next event!”

Is Contentment Part of Your Business Plan?

happyAs an entrepreneur and small business owner, I am learning that I want to be defined more by my contentment than wealth or success!  Quite a different approach than most are pursuing, isn’t it? Not a popular road to travel when the mantra is ‘do more with less’ is it?  What we have come to associate  with ‘being content’ doesn’t sound like high and lofty enough goals, does it?

For me this has been a long journey of being driven and succeeding but still feeling it is not enough!   It has been a life long struggle at being balanced; but still feeling that my worth and success has to be earned daily which causes a direct ‘out of balance’ conflict!

How did I come to this moment in time where I realized contentment is the joy and real happiness of doing ‘what I love with those I love to do it with’ more than the outcome of those efforts?

Simply I realized “it’s not about me!”  Contentment comes from serving a God who loves me, and helping others succeed in the plan He has for them first, above what I would have as a plan for myself! I provide solutions with the gifts and talents I have been given, and it is time to live with that purpose and focus in mind.

To keep that mindset as I reflect at the end of the day, I find and think  about the ‘positive’ things that happened, not what wasn’t, didn’t, or the failures that I encountered! Keeping your mind set on the thoughts of what brings contentment is the key.

My grateful thanks goes to Dr. Joey Faucette who believed in me and showed me the truth of how to create a business and live in the world of being an Entrepreneur by being ‘positive’ and doing things different than others are willing to do!

Does this mean that I quit doing my best, having a solid business plan, rest on my successes, and live happily forever after with no problems or interruptions?  As an ‘over the top’ A personality that is not who I am; but it does mean I face the future with a different perspective and focus on what is really important and what is not!

Where are you in your journey? Is your business plan built on you or others? Do you have solutions that really work, or are you just in it for the money and recognition?  Can you listen to the song, “Happy” and relate to the experience?

I urge you to take a long, hard, honest look at yourself and what you have created as your lifework, and place contentment as the true measurement to really know if it is working for you!

Enjoy the trip, it is the only one you get!

“Simply” Sue

11 Reasons 2014 Will Be A Breakout Year For Women Entrepreneurs

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FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2While women in the upper echelons of corporate America are singing the same old  tune, “Still No Progress After Years of No Progress,” female entrepreneurs have something to rejoice about.

The number of $10-million-plus women-owned firms increased by 57% — a growth rate nearly 50% more than $10-million-plus firms overall, according toGrowing Under the Radar: An Exploration of the Achievement of Million-Dollar Women-Owned Firms.

While the number is still small —  nearly 20% of angels in 2012 invested in women-led businesses — the percentage grew more than 40% from the previous year, according to the Center of Venture Research, which studies early-stage equity financing for high-growth ventures. Even venture capitalists have increased their support of women-led companies. It’s still paltry, but the percentage of VC deals going to women-led businesses was 13% in the first half of 2013. That’s nearly a 20% jump over 2012, according to Pitchbook, a venture-capital research firm.

There is room for improvement, but the U.S. ranked #1 among 17 countries on having the conditions that foster high potential female entrepreneurship, according to Gender-Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI). These conditions include entrepreneurial environment, entrepreneurial eco-system and entrepreneurial aspirations.

Woo hoo for women entrepreneurs! They will lead the way for women in other sectors to shatter their ceilings. Some of the 11 reasons women entrepreneurs will crack glass in 2014 are common to all women and others are unique to entrepreneurs.

1. Women have the right stuff
Women make better leaders than men, according to research conducted by Zenger Folkman. “They build better teams; they’re more liked and respected as managers; they tend to be able to combine intuitive and logical thinking more seamlessly; they’re more aware of the implications of their own and others’ actions;  and they think more accurately about the resources needed to accomplish a given outcome,” said  Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman in Forbes. Women on the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in North America know that you have to nurture your staff  in order to sustain rapid growth. That growth doesn’t happen without employees who are willing and able to deliver excellent products and great customer service.

“Two of the traits where women outscored men to the highest degree — taking initiative and driving for results — have long been thought of as particularly male strengths,” Zenger and Folkman continued.

Twenty-first-century leadership skills, such as cooperation, communication, and sharing are more commonly associated with women, according to John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio, authors ofThe Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future. Luan Cox, Crowdnetic, is helping pioneer a new industry, crowdfinancing. She’s working with all the players in the industry to provide the data it needs to be transparent and accountable. Cristina Mariani-May, Banfi Vintners, a family winery, credits her success to her ability to build relationships by listening.

2. The proof is in the pudding
Two research reports find that women deliver better company performance.

Two research reports find that women are better money managers.

  • Women-led private technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35% higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bringing in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies, according  to Women in Technology: Evolving, Ready to Save the World, research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation.

  • The high-tech companies women build are more capital-efficient than the norm. The average venture-backed company run by a woman had achieved comparable early-year revenues, using an average of one-third less committed capital, according to research conducted by Illuminate Ventures.

3. Diversity improves performance and increases innovation
Organizations that are the most inclusive of women in top management achieve 35% higher return on equity (ROE) and 34% better total return to shareholders versus their peers – and research shows gender diversity to be particularly valuable where innovation is key, according to research conducted by Illuminate Ventures.

It’s not just better performance that diversity delivers. It’s more innovation that better meets the needs of women. It’s not just about girly things like fashion, makeup, and cooking, it’s technology. Women have become the power-users of technologies, such as the internet, mobile, and social media. Think Gina Bianchini who founded Mightybell and Ning, two social networking platforms.

In an interview at FOCUS100 2013, Freada Kapor Klein, partner, Kapor Capital, discussed the importance of diversity to entrepreneurship. “Many people describe entrepreneurs as  scratching their own itch. So the more diverse our entrepreneurs are, the more innovative the kinds of companies they start.” User-entrepreneurs, that is, those who start a company to fill a need they have themselves, represent 11% of all startups and nearly half of the innovative startups founded in the U.S. that survive five years, according toKauffman Foundation research.

Women also approach problem-solving differently than men. They approach it in a holistic and systematic way, according to Larry Keeley, author of Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs. He analyzed three decades of innovations, who made them, and how they did it. Women are not looking for simple answers. They create comprehensive solutions, he continued. Cox’s Crowdnetic is an example of this — providing a one-stop resource for data and news about crowdfunded companies as well as the infrastructure for building crowdfunding platforms.

4. Untapped spending power
Women shouldn’t rush out and buy products made by women just because we’re the same sex. However, women understand other women. That insight gives us an edge in developing products that better meet our needs. With 80% of consumer spending controlled by women, and women having considerable  influence on spending categories that are considered the domain of men, such as autos and electronics, that is a whole lot of purchasing power for products and services developed by women.

Deborah Jackson started Plum Alley as a way to connect women consumers with women who make quality goods and provide services. Plum Alley now also helps women find funding and talent to help their businesses succeed. Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan developed Hukkster because they missed getting employee discounts after working at J. Crew. Hukkster sends alerts when the clothing women want goes on sales. Diana Lovett’s Cissé is a line of gourmet baking and hot cocoa mixes that cater to the more socially responsible gender, women. It buys organic cocoa from small-production cocoa growers in the Dominican Republic at a fair price.

5. Women use the power of their portfolios
While the percent of women angel investors is still small — 22% — it jumped 50% from 2011 to 2012, according to the Center for Venture Research. Angel investors are accredited wealthy individuals.

“The women angel-networks themselves are getting the word out about theimportance of women participating in the investment process and are doing a great job at welcoming new women into the investing community,” said Susan Duffy, executive director of the Center for Women’s Leadership, Babson College. Organizations, such as 37 Angels and Pipeline Fellowship are training wealthy women to be angel investors. For those of you who are toying with the idea of becoming an angel investor, here are nine questions to ask yourself before you start.

Women and wealth trends bode well for more women investing in women-led business. Women control more than half of the investment wealth in the U.S., according to Mary Quist-Newins author of Women and Money: Matters of Trust. Additionally:

  • The number of wealthy women in the U.S. is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men.

  • Women represent more than 40% of all Americans with gross investable assets above $600,000.

  • 45% of American millionaires are women.

  • 48% of estates worth more than $5 million are controlled by women, compared with 35% controlled by men.

  • 60% of high-net-worth women have earned their own fortunes.

  • Some estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth.

It’s not just rich women that can fund women entrepreneurs. There’s a new financing tool – crowdfunding — that allows anybody to invest. It’s a natural fit for women who have become the power users of the internet and social media — two skills that are key to being successful in raising money from the crowd. Crowdfunding uses the power of the internet and social media to raise small amounts of money from lots of people on sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Rockethub. Women are already having early success with crowdfunding. Indiegogo is a popular crowdfunding platform. Of its successful campaigns,  42% are run by women. Impressively, women raise more than men both in terms of the number of contributions and the amount. For those of you considering investing via crowdfunding, here are five tips.

6. Men are bullish on women
It’s not just Warren Buffett who is bullish on women. Vivek Wadhwa , academic, writer, and entrepreneur is a vocal critic of the underfunding of women-led companies by Silicon Valley and a supporter of women-led businesses. He is crowd-creating and funding a book about women’s global participation in the innovation economy. Male angel investors, such as Adam Quinton, recognize that the failure of the angel market in general to invest in promising women-led companies provides greater opportunity for him.

Interestingly, men like D’Antonio, Folkman, Gerzema, Keeley, and Zenger weren’t seeking to do research to support the effectiveness of women as leaders and innovators. It’s just where the analysis of their data took them.

7. Women are building a vibrant and layered ecosystem
There are tons of networking groups to choose from. Some are general in focus and have been around for a long time, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners. Others, such as Women 2.0, are focused on specific types of women, such as those starting technology companies. One of the newest to the scene is digitalundivided, which is focused on women of color working in the digital space.

Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) provides peer advisory groups to support women entrepreneurs. Also known as “mastermind” and “CEO” roundtables, peer advisory groups bring the heads of companies together to problem-solve and brainstorm their day-to-day challenges and opportunities under the guidance of a trained facilitator. “Entrepreneurs learn best from one another rather than academic courses,” said Marsha Firestone, president and founder of WPO.

Most big companies as well as local, state, and federal governments allot a certain percentage of organizational purchases to women-owned companies. The federal government and New York City have lifted caps, which should make it easier for women to get big contracts. If the federal government is a customer, women-owned businesses are 23 times more likely to be million-dollar businesses, according to Women and Minority Small Business Contractors: Divergent Paths to Equal Success. Programs, such as Give Me 5,  help educate women about and provide access to government contract opportunities. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) provides the most widely recognized certification in the U.S. It verifies that companies are at least 51% owned by a women via 14 regional partner organizations. One of its partners, Women Presidents’ Educational Organization, saw 221% growth in contracts in 2013.

There are organizations that provide leadership training, access to capital, and connections to accelerate the growth of women-led companies. During the past decade or so, organizations such as Astia and Springboard Enterprises have helped women-led businesses become more scalable and attract investment. Astia-aided companies have a 60%-plus fundraising success rate within one year of joining and have raised $1 billion. Springboard’s companies have an 83% fundraising success rate and have raised $6.2 billion. Recently Babson announced the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab, which is a year-long residency program for women students at Babson College. The program accelerates the entrepreneurial path from ideation to prototype.

The number of women-led angel funds, such as Belle Capital, Golden Seeds, and Texas Women’s Fund, has increased, according to Kay Koplovitz, chairman,  Springboard Enterprises and founder, USA Networks. “Angels are getting organized around specific sectors, too, and improving their due-diligence process.” Illuminate Ventures is dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs and recently closed a $20 million fund targeting cloud and mobile software startups.

“We need to continue to build out the ecosystem so that women are an active part of the funding cycle. We still have a long way to go,” said Peggy Wallace, managing director, Golden Seeds. “Female entrepreneurs still do not fit the typical profile of a young, tech male. Investors need to be open to diversity of ideas, age, geography. We need a more open environment.”

8. Women are shedding their cloak of invisibility
Last year was the first time that two American-born non-celebrity entrepreneurs — Sara Blakely and Tory Burch — made the 2013 FORBES World’s Most Powerful Women list. One of the selection criteria is media presence. Pretty impressive when you consider they’re competing with the likes of Hillary Clinton, Oprah and Sheryl Sandberg.

The  Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women are proactively seeking visibility, according to a study by Weber Shandwick. It is not just these women who recognize the importance of  public speaking and awards as essential to telling their company’s story. Women entrepreneurs, such as Liz Elting of TransPerfect, Janine Popick of VerticalResponse, and Nina Vaca of Pinnacle also used awards and honors to build the credibility and reputation of their companies.

Denise Brosseau, author of  Ready to be a Thought Leader? How to Increase Your Influence, Impact, and Success told me how seven women entrepreneurs were building their businesses through thought leadership. A couple of women I know have built their businesses by helping others build their businesses. Entrepreneurs, such as Karen Barbour of The Barbour Group and Sandra Wilkin of Bradford Construction advocate at the local, state, and federal government about the importance of small businesses.

9. Women are starting to blow out their networks
Women are beginning to get the importance of networking: The bigger and more diverse your network the more likely your business is to break revenue barriers. I’ve written about some exceptional women networkers and the tactics they use. Using social networks isn’t just one of my favorite ways to build your network. With money drying up for small businesses during the financial crisis, Dara Albright of Crowdnetic, knew innovation was needed and she wanted to be a part of it. She used LinkedIn to meet people who would eventually become the movers and shakers in the crowdfinance industry. She launched NowStreet, which is a media and event company specializing in crowdfinance. The company was bought last year by Crowdnetic.

A new class of networkers is emerging and they are called “super connectors.” Here are four secrets from Judy Robinett, the grande dame of super connectors. Her book, How to Be a Power Connector: the 5-50-150 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits, will be coming out in May.

10. Women never stop learning
Every entrepreneur I know has built a successful business on the many varieties of learning available. Admitting that you don’t know everything — and never will — is key to growth. Interestingly, self development is one of those areas in which women outshine men, according to Zenger Folkman’s research. Women share, and some women who have built $10 million plus businesses shared their secrets. You can learn a lot from trailblazers. Women listen, read business books and publications, and attend professional development training, etc. We are also learning to seek outside counsel frommentors, sponsors and advisors, and participate in peer advisory groups.

11. Some women use failure as a launching pad to success
Women tend to be perfectionists. Speaking about failure goes against our grain. But, the truth is, no one will succeed all the time. We learn more from our failures than our successes. Kudos to Sallie Krawcheck for publicly talking about being fired from two big jobs. Even better, she didn’t hide afterwards. She picked herself up, dusted herself off, and bought 85 Broads – a networking organization for women who want to advance their careers.

You can help shatter the glass ceiling for women entrepreneurs by providing expert advice, opening your Rolodex, and even your wallet.

If you would like to receive updates on the Gender-Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (Gender-GEDI) and case studies written by Geri Stengel, please complete this form. Case studies will provide real-life examples of how 10 women in the U.S. overcame barriers identified in Gender-GEDI to found and run high-growth companies. The case studies also will be codified into lessons learned and best practices.

The Key to Success Starts With Failure

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you-learn-more-from-failure-quoteOne major hurdle that many entrepreneurs face is the fear of failure. Will my product sell? Will I be able to pay my investors? Will I be a good leader? If you are an entrepreneur, I’m sure these are just a few of the many questions that have come to mind while running your business.

That fear of failure is often what makes aspiring young entrepreneurs head back to their warm and cozy corporate jobs. So, how do we push past this fear?

With the glass-half-full mentality, we should look at failures as learning opportunities. This realization hit me hard while crafting my monthly public newsletter this past Thanksgiving. While writing, I kept thinking, “what am I most grateful for in my enterprise?”

After pondering this question for a while, I discovered that my most memorable (and cherished) moments in my first couple years at The Global Good Fund came from the ashes of our team’s multiple failures.

It took me a while to reach this point, but I am incredibly thankful that I’m now at the place in my career (and with my enterprise) where I can laugh in the face of failure… well, almost!

To help you get past your fears as a young entrepreneur, here are some tips for embracing fear:

Fail fast

Don’t take years to evaluate whether or not you have failed in a particular area of your business. Always be taking risks and quickly evaluating the outcomes, ideally on a quarterly basis, if not more frequently. When our enterprise first launched, we investigated various IT systems to track and align our internal processes. Unsure which IT system was best suited to the needs of running a social business, we piloted our first IT system for several weeks, evaluated the product as it fit with our needs, and found the system was too advanced for our stage of existence.  We nixed the first IT system and turned to our next option, which has been a great fit for our enterprise ever since.  Our lesson was to fail early and fail fast. This failure resulted in my colleagues taking calculated risks that consistently push the envelope.

Make your failures public

Whether it is in a team or board meeting, a public-facing communication, or even social media, share with your team and others when you have failed. I decided to seize the meaningful opportunity to express gratitude for our enterprise’s failures in our Thanksgiving newsletter. Some may think a formal newsletter is a bizarre platform to highlight your enterprise’s failures. However, if others see that you embrace failure and grow from it, they will have more confidence that your enterprise listens to the concerns of its customers, stakeholders, and employees – and they will have more confidence that your business will succeed in the long-run. Our transparency at The Global Good Fund has strengthened our relationship with our stakeholders.

Map out what you learned

How exactly did you fail and WHY? Take into practice the 5 Whys” iterative question-asking technique to understand the cause-and-effect relationships underlying your failure. By doing this, you will understand what exactly went wrong and how you can learn from mistakes so they don’t happen again.

Map out how you plan to grow from your failures

You failed fast, you shared your failure with others, and you learned from this failure. Now, take the next step and map out how you are going to grow from your failure to change future outcomes. What is your next immediate step to move forward from this failure? And to hold you and your team accountable, tell others how you are going to change your processes in the future for greater chances of success!

End on a high note

After you own up to your failures and map a future growth plan for your organization, be thankful for your failures. By staying positive, you demonstrate to your team that it’s OKAY to take calculated risks and fail in the process. I personally remain thankful and humbled that my organization is a safe space surrounded by colleagues, board members, coaches, advisors and investors who are not afraid to fail together. As a result, we are empowered to grow and learn collectively.

Being comfortable with failing is the key to success in any startup. Experiencing failure in a positive light will help you and your team achieve renewed emphasis and focus on your brand and for your long term goals as an enterprise.

Your turn: How do you currently face failure as a young entrepreneur?  What will you do differently to face failure in 2014? Please share your tips with us!

Carrie Rich is the co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund, an organization dedicated to investing in the leadership development of high potential young entrepreneurs committed to social impact.  Carrie enjoys photography, other people’s cooking and jogging, on occasion.

Stop Wasting Your Time and Learn to Delegate

Article Reblogged from

stop-wasting-time-learn-delegateWhen you’re an entrepreneur, your business is like your baby. Delegating or outsourcing tasks can sometimes be difficult because no one can do things as well as you. Right?

Wrong, says Jordan Cohen, a productivity expert at PA Consulting Group, a London-based management consulting firm: “At some point, every entrepreneur will hit a point where they can’t do any more and do it well,” he says.

In a study for Harvard Business Review, Cohen and Julian Birkinshaw, a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School, interviewed executives at 39 companies in the United States and Europe and found that 41precent of their day was filled with activities that could be competently handled by others.

“We’ve been socialized with the idea that completing a task is an accomplishment,” says Cohen. “But in today’s business world, an entrepreneur’s time can be better served by doing the tasks that matter most to the success of their business and delegating the rest.”

Finding the right people and trusting them with your brand can feel risky. Cohen offers these three easy steps to become a better delegator:

1. Put outsourcing infrastructure in place before it’s needed. 
Entrepreneurs often look for help when they’re time crunched or overwhelmed, but this is not the best time to find an outsourcing option, says Cohen. Instead of making decisions under stress, research good alternatives for delegating or outsourcing before you need them. For example, train staff members to take over new tasks, or find and interview consultants that you can call upon when needed.

“The more time you are able to invest in setting up your options, the more robust the solution will be,” says Cohen.

2. Put delegating on your calendar. 
When you review your calendar and to do list, Cohen says to look at meetings and tasks with a critical eye.

“What tasks do you have to do yourself and what could you have others do?” asks Cohen. Tasks that have low value for your customers and are time-consuming — such as bookkeeping or administrative tasks — are ideal tasks to outsource.

“You are in the best position to determine what you have to do,” says Cohen. “Use good judgment, but don’t get caught up in a way of working that isn’t productive.”

3.Then test the waters. 
Once you identify tasks that are good for outsourcing, start small. Cohen suggests starting with something that isn’t complex or urgent. Instead, experiment with low importance things. For example, hire a graphic design firm to turn your presentation into a PowerPoint presentation — but don’t start with your most important sales pitch.

“Things rarely work perfectly the first time,” he says. “The idea is to get comfortable with delegating. It takes practice, but it gets easier over time.”


Stephanie Vozza is a freelance writer who has written about business, real estate and lifestyle for more than 20 years.

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Six Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Monopoly!


Monopoly has been a hit for generations, with most everyone having played at least one of the many versions of it at some point. But the Parker Brothers game isn’t just for family game night or a late-night session in college. Monopoly has a lot to teach entrepreneurs about starting a successful business.

Below are six lessons an entrepreneur, or any businessperson for that matter, can learn from Monopoly.

1. Risks should be taken early whenever possible.

In Monopoly, it’s smart to buy as much property as possible from the start to increase your chances of owning at least one full set of the same colored properties before the game is over. Similarly, in business, those who start investing earlier often do better in the long run.

2. Negotiation and persuasion skills are essential.

There are times in Monopoly when a trade is necessary to get ahead. However, you may run up against an owner of the property you want who is benefiting from it and doesn’t want to part with it. Your task then becomes convincing the owner that what you have to offer in return will somehow be more beneficial. Seeing both sides and maneuvering around another party’s wants and demands are all skills that come into play in many business settings.

3. Diversification is key.

With a large variety of properties, you open yourself up to more streams of revenue and a lesser chance of failing because of one bad investment gone bad. Everyone wants Park Place and Boardwalk, but there’s value in owning more than just the top-notch properties. Likewise, when it comes to investing in anything – whether it’s a product line, a supplier, or, in some cases, employees – the more variety, the better.

4. Money should be set aside for uncertainties.

Despite how lucrative an investment may seem, it’s crucial to keep a financial cushion, as you never know how the game, or life, will turn. In Monopoly, there are taxes, penalties, unexpected trips to jail and all sorts of uncertainties that pop up. To play well, you need to keep a good chunk of the colored money at the ready in case your opponents get lucky. Real life business management is no different. You have to keep money set aside for unforeseen expenses.

5. Always understand ROI.

Being able to assess the return on investment is essential in the business world and in Monopoly. In the game, buying lots of properties can yield great results, but you should always know at what cost. You shouldn’t make purchases blindly or without have an idea of what your next move will be. Will buying a lesser property give you the funds you need, if you are low on cash, or should you hold out for something more lucrative? Is it worth your to keep track of a property that won’t generate much in earnings? Just the same, when making business decisions, you have to evaluate your probable gain as well as the expense and time needed to get it.

6. Instant gratification isn’t always what’s best.

Sometimes, the fastest decisions aren’t the wisest ones. It’s exciting to make progress early in the game, but don’t make bad choices just because you want to feel like a winner. In Monopoly and in business, the true winner is the one whose overall decision-making leads to the best outcome. Those who base their choices on one-upping others just for the sake of it – and for the sake of the business overall – will fail.

  –Daniela Baker: has a passion for small business and parenting, she blogs at CreditDonkey

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