“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time” -Thomas A. Edison
Since it’s a new year, setting business resolutions, intentions and goals for 2015 gives us an opportunity to focus our efforts.
The next level. Small business owners, freelancers and consultants always have their eye on it. As women in business, how do we establish ourselves as experts? The simple answer: Influence. To expand on our achievements and increase influence, utilize your accomplishments and make them work for you. With the specific, achievable and encouraging suggestions below, you can elevate your status - if you follow through.
- Apply for Awards: Celebrate your hard work by giving yourself a chance to be recognized for it. Look for the win, but get your name on that list of nominees. No matter what, you’ll be considered an expert in your field and make people curious about your vision. Positive reinforcement, for the win.
- Record Your Wins: Every product or service you send out to the world, find something noteworthy about it. Write down what makes it unique, how it will better the lives of people receiving it, or what you loved about creating it. This serves two purposes. One: it keeps you in touch with your “why,” which motivates. Two: you just created the bones of a blog or post. Not Congratulations!
- Venture New Markets: Traveling refreshes the mind, but have you considered how it could expand your reach? Wherever you go, for whatever reason, try to attend a conference, event, or networking function. Even if it’s one client, one relationship, that comes from the experience, your business will be more fruitful because of it. Building an audience that expands from your current market takes your influence to the next level.
- Seek Bylines: Create buzz for yourself and your product. You deserve it. Find a publication or website within your area of expertise and contribute regularly. Can you imagine the credibility and leads one weekly pitch could generate? Yes, yes you can. Now go for it.
- Civic Leadership: Find and serve a cause that aligns with your values. In addition to service being a righteous thing to do, it also enhances your network, improves your leadership skills and demonstrates your talent. All of that on top of making the community better? That’s what is called a win-win.
Entrepreneurs need more sales, more leads, and more attention. Always. The key ingredient to managing these pieces like a leader is influence. Strategy is the game. Play it wisely.
Being a woman business owner is a full time job. Being a mom is a full time job. What do you do if you are a mother and a business owner? How do you juggle both responsibilities? How do you handle the pressures of two full-time jobs without losing your mind?
Being a business owner is no small feat and neither is being a mom. Both require time, attention, and energy. You might be afraid that you will not have enough time to dedicate towards both. Or, if you are already a mom and business owner you might be feeling overwhelmed and guilty when you choose to focus on one more than the other. Luckily, you are not alone in these thoughts and circumstances.
We created a list of the best advice we have heard thus far for women who are taking the challenge to do it all and then some.
It's okay to say 'No'
Don’t feel guilty if you have to say no to a networking event after work so you can attend your daughter’s volleyball game. Or vice-versa. One of the key things to being both a mom and business owner is balance. But keep in mind, there is no real formula for striking the right balance. Take it one day at a time and assess each decision as they come.
When you are at work, be at work. When you are out with your family or taking your child to their doctor's appointment, focus on that. Do not focus on what you could be doing instead or multitask while doing both.
Don't be afraid to delegate
Delegating can become your friend, ally, and partner. By delegating at work and at home you can give yourself more time to breath and focus on the important things with having people around you help you and pick up some of the load. This could be switching off on household chores with your significant other or having an employee at work pick up some extra responsibilities.
Don't feel guilty
If you do have to miss a work meeting or a soccer game for your child, don’t beat yourself up about it. There will be times where you cannot make both obligations and will have to choose. Once you choose, don’t look back on the decision and wonder if you made the right one.
Be flexible and plan for the unexpected
Life happens, which means sick days, unexpected emergencies at work, and other attention needing things will happen. If you plan for these and prioritize your day by scheduling in advance you can afford to be flexible and calm in the future when crisis strikes.
When you negotiate you are trying to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion between at least one other person. The concept seems simple, yet negotiating is a reoccurring problem, especially for women. But, why?
In Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In she states, “You should go in to your negotiation with a very clear sense of what you want. However, when you do talk it shouldn’t be all about what you want and why you think you deserve it. You’ve got to turn it around and explain to the person you’re trying to persuade why you’re negotiating is legitimate in their eyes and demonstrate that you’re taking on their perspective, and thinking about your relationship with them.”
The more people in your circle the more information and support you will have. If people speak highly of you and your work ethic, your negotiating power as a woman has increased. In an Elle Magazine article, authored by Glynnis MacNicol, she points out, “Enhance your negotiation through relationships and your relationships through negotiations. In other words, create networks.”
There is a thin line between confidence and over-confidence. Overconfidence can come across poorly and turn off those who you are negotiating with. After all, this is a negotiation process which involves compromise of both sides so you want to be able to work with the other person without turning them off. Show them your confidence and ability to do the job.
Don’t be intimidated. Speaking with the person who has the fate of your promotion, raise, or whatever situation you are in can be very intimidating. Go in knowing what you want and have your facts and data to back you up. Show them that you are not afraid and that you deserve this.
And lastly, practice, practice, practice. The phrase is as old as time, but as true as ever. Being well prepared and doing your research and practice what you plan on saying and asking can go a long way. The questions and answers will flow more naturally and will give an aurora of confidence as you show off your hard work.
Just do it. They're g-r-r-r-eat!
When you hear those phrases, odds are you immediately think of Nike and the infamous Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flakes glory. Memorable equals effective*.
When launching a business or taking your company through a rebrand, may people question whether or not they should have a tagline or slogan. A large majority of businesses have one, but many larger corporations are beginning to ditch the additional advertising phrase (Starbucks and Whole Foods to name a few). Try and consider how many large brands actually have a memorable catch phrase these days.
The reality is, unless your company has achieved world denomination such as Starbucks, or has the staying power of a brand like UPS, then perhaps a good tagline might come in handy. A tagline essentially is a quick, simple, yet catchy phrase to explain what your company is about in a memorable, clever way. However, many over complicate the use of a tagline by making them too long or boring.
With a world filled with some many different industries and options, it is important to stand out. A creative and fun tagline can do just the trick. Below are a few tricks and tips to help you create a tagline:
- Keep it simple. Too much information can be overwhelming and ruin the point of a tagline.
- Keep it focused. Make sure it has real information, not just fluff. And be sure that it's geared towards your target market.
- Be creative. A creative and clever tagline can help make it more memorable and catchy.
- Stay true to your company's identity and personality. Don't force a slogan on to your company just because it sounds nifty. It needs to fit with who you truly are, not who you think your clients want you to be.
As the race for cellular domination increased in the mid-2000s, Verizon Wireless created arguably the all-time greatest tagline for their industry. Can You Hear Me Now? Good! By using an extremely commonplace phrase, one which incorporated the mixture of frustration and relief experienced by every cell phone user, they were able to imply that their service would remove all their customer's deadzone worries.
Don't forget to have fun while taking part in this process of creating a tagline for your company, but most importantly don't forget this loving slogan, "keep it simple, stupid".
*except for when "memorable" is in reference to a negative thing, and that's a blog post for another occasion.