Tag Archives: women

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

Do Women Have to Be Mean to Succeed in Business?

I think that somewhere along the way, some women got this idea that in order to succeed they had to be aggressive, mean, and out for themselves – that touchy feely, heartsy, lets all join hands and do this together, just wasn’t going to cut it in business.

And some women got the idea that being confident, aggressive, bold, and competitive is too mean. And women are supposed to be nice. It’s in the rule book.

I’d like to suggest that there is a happy place in the middle of pompously self-absorbedand take my job I don’t need it as much as you do.  I’d like to suggest that you can have a bold opinion, outsell your competitor, dominate in your industry, and still be likeable, humble, respected and even revered.

I’d like to suggest to all you really mean women out there, that aside from the fact that you are making enemies, you probably aren’t winning as much business as you could.

I’d like to suggest to all of you overly nice women out there, that it doesn’t have to be all give and no take. You are allowed to have a strong opinion. You are allowed to know what makes you better than your competitor. You are allowed to be proud of your achievements and accomplishments and to always be striving for higher.

I’d like to suggest that we as women take a look around and see how we’re doing at really helping and encouraging and supporting each other – and yet also taking a look around and seeing how well we are doing about owning our own gifts, stepping into our jobs with confidence, being bold and taking business that we have worked hard to get.

Then again – it’s just a suggestion. Probably not even heard by the ones who need to hear it most.

I’m just saying.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Freelance Friday with “Dr. Woody” Woodward

Keeping Values in Your Cereal Bowl

cer1Being a successful entrepreneur is all about finding a void in the marketplace and filling it.

And that’s exactly what Corin Mullins, founder and CEO of Holy Crap Cereal, did.

At the recent Annual EY Strategic Growth Forum and Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program (EWW), women entrepreneurs from all over North America gathered for the awards ceremony and shared stories and business insight.

At the conference I had the opportunity to speak to Mullins about why she launched her business and got her best tips for budding entrepreneurs. Here’s what she had to say:

Dr. Woody: Where did the idea for the cereal come from?

Mullins: Our cereal is a chia-based cereal and we originally started the cereal itself because my husband has problems with wheat and swallowing, so chia is a seed that you mix with water and it becomes pudding like. It’s very easy to take. The name [Holy Crap] came from one of our customers. We used to sell the cereal at a farmers market at a little table and three days after they bought the product they called us and said ‘holy crap this really works!’

It’s very high fiber, has your omegas, it’s non-GMO, and it’s gluten-free.

Dr. Woody: So, the phrase “Holy Crap” caught you.

Mullins: It did. It caught both of us. Of course my husband said let’s use it. But I didn’t want to use it. He convinced me to do it for the summer because we were semi-retired. And he said that all our customers would be tourists that we’ll never see again.

So, we were doing everything at home and that’s what we did. The first day I was selling Holy Crap Cereal I sold 100 and I never looked back. I haven’t looked back at all. It’s in the name and it’s a phrase that people use, it’s an expression.

Dr. Woody: So, as part of the journey you’ve now gone from idea to entrepreneur to now running a business. So what have some of the challenges in that transition been for you?

Mullins: One of the challenges was staying where we were in a small town and having everything brought in. We were heavily criticized because it’s so expensive to bring everything in, but what we do is called back-hauling. So, the trucks are going back [out of the town] empty, so [instead of going back empty to their distribution centers] they take our product back [to go to market]. So everything came into place. So that was a challenge we overcame in a very positive way.

We’ve hired all our friends and family, which is another challenge in a different way. We have 20 full-time employees and two contract employees.

Dr. Woody: For you as an entrepreneur and now a business leader, what are some of those core values or guiding principles that are personal to you that you have relied on to make this journey through a lot of uncertainty?

Mullins: I wanted to give our customers a sense of confidence that we were honorable honest people. Whatever I put out to them I eat at home and all our staff eats at home. This was very important to us. Really all you have is your word. Once you’ve lost that no one is ever going to trust you again. So for us, it’s our honor, our word, our integrity. These are all old-fashioned words, but they are still true today because if you lose any of that you lose credibility and that’s all you have is your word.

Dr. Woody: How do you take that and instill it in the organization and the people working for you? Because it’s one thing to have these values yourself, but as the organization grows how do you make sure it reflects you values?

Mullins: We like to hire slow and fire fast. We’ve been very fortunate in that for the three years we’ve been in business we’ve only asked two people to leave out of almost 25 people that we’ve had come and go through the company and we still have 22 with us. They are like-of-mind and have the same core values. We all believe in the product. We are very excited about it and we all take pride in what we put out there.

We take very good care of our employees as well. We are on a medical and dental plan. We make sure that all the families get weekends off so they can spend it with their kids and take their kids to soccer or hokey or whatever. It’s very important to us.

Click here to watch the entire interview 


Sebastian's First Birthday PartyMichael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and the new on-line course The YOU Plan for Career Change on Udemy. Dr. Woody is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. To book Dr. Woody for your next event contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.