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How are my networking events like NYDJ?
You know the clothing company, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans? They differentiate themselves from the competition by naming their market (mothers, aka women) and offering something more desirable for their demographic. I’m speaking only for myself, but nod if you agree, I don’t want to wear shredded denim or the designer’s name on my derriere. I do want a pair of jeans that are flattering and hip, so I buy the NYDJ brand.
I feel the same about one-size fits all networking meetings. Are you getting tired of networking events where you do and say the same thing? Go around the room, announce what you do, say who your market is, then hope and pray there’s someone in the room who can refer you, use your services or even want to engage in conversation? Ho-hum.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve met wonderful people and gotten business in these environments, but it feels stale and I’m having trouble psyching myself up to keep showing up.
That’s why I’m offering a different kind of networking event Thursday night, October 24, at In Good Company in NYC. I want you to meet Remarkable Women in a different way. The focus that night will be on creating meaningful relationships first, building business connections second. And I will be facilitating that activity–in a fun and memorable way. You do not want to miss this!
Here are the details and registration link to join us next week. Hope to see you there!
This is a unique opportunity to inspire, encourage and motivate each other.
Be Part of the Remarkable Women’s Network
5 Spots remain – Register Today:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
6:30pm – 8:30pm
In Good Company
16 W. 23rd Street – 4th Floor
New York City
Please RVSP by October 18, 2013: Click here to register
My friend Linda called it her “Onions and Orchids” file. Whenever she got a less than positive communication–an Onion–she’d whip out her Orchids file filled with eloquently positive messages about her worth and read one or two to get herself back on track.
What do you do with the positive things clients (colleagues and friends, too) say about you? Toss them aside with an, “Oh, that’s nice.” Or keep them in an accessible location for easy reference? Right answer!
One of my Outlook folders is labeled ‘testimonials’ for the express purpose of reminding myself of my value (like when I got a hurtful comment last week from someone who was clearly in a bad mood and needed an innocent bystander to vent at). It does rock my boat, until I choose the action of referencing my value as expressed by a cherished client, i.e. reading an Orchid.
I’d just blogged about my upcoming virtual Mastermind Group (starts this Thursday at 6) and received the most generous comments from the women in my current Mastermind Intensive. The nature of a group like this is deep intimacy, clarity, support and affection for each other. When you’re a solopreneur, working from home, taking risks daily and working through the daily highs and lows of life, it’s an amazing gift, resource and Orchid to have a team always there in your back pocket to remind you of your talent, your vision and your dedication when it can be so easy to forget all that. I read through those comments twice to counter-balance the critical email I’d just received. Better that than engaging with a crackpot.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your momentum in this still struggling economy, join me starting this Thursday evening from wherever you are. My google+ hangout is devoted to you and seven other women business owners who are equally committed to keeping you joyful and connected while achieving your business dreams.
The first person to sign up for my virtual Mastermind Group lives on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s been a client of mine before and appreciates being connected with other women entrepreneurs who are on a mission, as she is. It had been virtually impossible for her to join my earlier groups in CT or NYC because of the travel involved.
Lucky for her, to participate in this group she will not need to hop a ferry and drive 5 hours to be in the company of others who get her. Wherever she and her computer are on Thursday nights, she can log on and SEE, HEAR and interact with this hand-picked group.
I can’t wait to see all your faces using this easy technology. I hired a guy via taskrabbit to help me understand how to use google+ hangouts, and we accomplished the task in 5 minutes–it’s that easy! Quick as a bunny!
What’ll happen in our sessions is that we will come together for three hours a night six times (there’s a bonus seventh session should you have to miss one) during which time you’ll talk about what’s really important to you. A goal that may be eluding you or a vision that needs refining.
Everyone in the group will have the opportunity to give voice to her dream. It’s important to hear what others aspire to. Nothing lifts the entrepreneurial soul like hearing a colleague talk about holding a conference, writing a book, creating a web series or an equally challenging, but rewarding mission. Following each others’ progress over the course of our time together will reinforce your goals.
During each session you’ll give and receive feedback. I can’t tell you the number of times that members of my groups hear an idea, a tip or a suggestion that alters their path forward. The level of excitement and action grows with every session as you begin to deliver on your plan. There is momentum, new information, but most important the love and support any germ of an idea needs to grow. You’ll have a new goal set at each meeting which you’ll be held accountable for at the next session. The check-ins at the beginning of each call are one of the most rewarding and affirming parts of this process.
As a coach since 2002, I’m good at hearing obstacles that may not be self-evident. I love challenging clients to try things a bit differently, or to reach higher than you might on your own. Sometimes the challenge is to simply let go and get a massage while the Universe manifests for you. My clients love THAT homework assignment, but it’s one I offer rarely, so come prepared to work hard and love the process.
With the support and inspiration of 6-8 other women business owners who have your back, cherish your dreams as much as you do, and are on a mission themselves, this is going to be a dynamic, exciting, and intimate experience. Here’s where you get to let your hair down among peers, talk about what’s really going on behind the scenes, and hear how others are overcoming their roadblocks.
Having been in my own group for over 20 years, I can promise you that you’ll leave every session more energized and committed than you were when you logged on.
What would thrill you to have accomplished by January 2014? If you can dream it, I can help you get there. Join me from wherever you are and meet a team that will change your life.
Here’s the scoop.
I had a glorious 24 hours with my Mastermind Intensive group Sunday-Monday. We gathered at a member’s home the afternoon of the 8th to create vision boards, have a potlluck and reunite after the summer. I was as much a guest as everyone else, basking in the warmth of our members and soaking up female togetherness in such an intimate environment. Monday was our all-day session in Westport where I took charge and continued the process of helping these unstoppable women to realize their visions.
On Sunday afternoon one of our group said something that struck me. We were all gathered in the pristine white, screened-in gazebo in our hostess’s backyard. This particular member was sitting crosslegged on the cushioned window seat looking totally at peace. She told us how grateful she was to be in such a safe, loving and nurturing environment. And that she wished she could have this intimacy and safety more often.
What struck me about this was that, for her, it was the exception.
In that quiet, unspectacular moment I had a big AHA. I realized that safe, loving and nurturing environments have become the norm for me.
Five to seven times a week I attend a fellowhsip where I walk into unconditional love, respect and support.
Three times a week I speak to an accountability partner (aka good friend) about whatever next step I’m taking in my business.
Every Tuesday morning at 6:30am I speak with two of my spiritual buddies about financial serenity.
Every Thursday at 6:15am I take a call from a woman wanting that same financial serenity.
I meet with my own Mastermind Group once a month to offer support to each other.
I have a regularly scheduled call with my siblings once a month to offer love and support to each other and to catch up on our news across the miles.
Most important, I have weeded out the energy vampires who would quickly undo the benefits I’d received from the other environments. I am a free woman!
And that’s what it takes for this soul proprietor to stay peaceful, productive, serene and joyous.
Last night I had dinner with my Mastermind Group. I capitalize it because it’s that important in my life.
We’ve been together for over 20 years although the membership has shifted some. Doesn’t matter.
Every significant growth step in my business is a direct result of having this form of support in my life. Being a part of a Mastermind Group and leading them for others are constant sources of inspiration and motivation to me.
This is primarily because I hear others talking about business development along with its trials and tribulations. I feel NOT alone. Trials are not happening just to me, which as a home-based business owner I could deduce.
And the results in my own group and those I lead reinforce the power of the Mastermind–products designed, new clients signed on, studios built, income increased.
I get to be on the ground floor of others’ big ideas, risks and rewards, baby steps and giant leaps. I am privileged to watch others prospect, aim high, succeed, fail (occasionally, and it’s very educational) and most of all, stay in the game.
It is in this intimate, structured and safe environment that the real issues of being an entrepreneur get spoken of, witnessed and resolved. Where else in a business owner’s life would she have that opportunity? The cashier at Whole Foods isn’t interested. My kids love me, but don’t necessarily want to hear about my latest marketing gambit. This dedicated group has been there for me for decades.
My next venture is my first NYC-based Mastermind Group offering starting in September. In the late ’80′s as a new business owner, I took two courses in NYC to help me grow. I know the power of going to any lengths for my business and want to offer that opportunity to those in the metro area who are looking for the same.
Here are the deets.
You never know where inspiration and motivation will strike.
For me it was late Friday in a new chiropractor’s office staring at a sign on his wall. Under the emboldened saying were the words: “Five Dangerous Words to Say” and above that were the words themselves:
“Maybe it will go away.”
It doesn’t matter what the IT is. In this wellness provider’s office, it was body pain. But, no doubt, you’re familiar with that thought pattern even if it doesn’t land you in a health practitioner’s domain.
“If I don’t do anything,” it says, “it may get better.” And sometimes that’s so.
Last night, as my computer sputtered and stalled in the Outlook phase of my deskwork, I insisted, “Maybe it will go away.” The dreaded thought I continued to have after I abandoned ship for the night was that what I really needed wasn’t the new monitor I bought and installed last week, but a whole new system. Perish the thought.
This morning, however, I sailed through my inbox leading me to believe it was a connection problem and that everyone in my building was sucking the Time Warner cable lines dry at the same time. I won’t choose to dig deeper until the pain is too great and I have to.
You get to pick your challenges and where to check your foundations. You can sail along in your work/personal life for a long time without feeling the pain. But at some point, it catches up with you, and demands your attention. As it has with the back/leg pain I’ve been enduring for a while now. I know I need to look at the greater system and stop applying bandaids.
Where else that applies in my life is directly addressing issues as they arise and not sweeping them under the rug. It’s seeking out and going to a new doctor, asking for the contract IN WRITING, gently confronting the issue at hand IN THE MOMENT and not hoping it will go away. I’m not 100%, but I’m moving towards the goal of living in the moment, addressing reality and dealing with what is now.
Much of my journey as a Soul Proprietor has been directed by signs from the Universe that I’m going in the right direction. I believe in The Secret, the Law of Attraction and Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret. Each of these doctrines points to becoming what you think about. That we attract into our lives exactly what we are feeding our brains. If I am looking to buy a new car and want a Prius, every time I drive on the highway, I see more and more Priuses (Pri-i?).
Since coming up with the idea of starting my Soul Proprietor Community, I have seen multiple signs along the way–reading an interview in Oprah Magazine with Carolyn Myss, quotes from the latest Kripalu publication and in today’s Op-Ed column by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times. Their words reinforce the essence of what I am building and strengthen the foundation of my belief that this Community is vital for not only those who join, but for our world at large. Yeah, it’s THAT BIG!
As Friedman says in today’s article about our changing work environment:
The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
Our world is flatter than ever before. Everyone is connected via the Internet and cell phones. The work landscape has changed irreversibly. As Seth Godin says, “We’re all artists now.” We are each being called upon to ‘make it up’ as we go along–to differentiate ourselves from everyone else.
But where do you find the support for that? We’ve never been so connected yet so isolated in all of our history.
Several dozen women entrepreneurs have already signed up to forge our way together on this new frontier. I’m making it up too. But I’ve never felt bolder, more inspired or convinced that with each other, everything is possible. Join me! There’s still room. You will not miss a single second of this new connection with passionate, curious and intelligent women who are eager to invent, reinvent and continue learning.
I joined La Leche League in my last month of pregnancy with my first child. I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby and needed to learn how. That was the premise of the meetings–to place yourself amongst other breastfeeding women to learn and observe the in’s and out’s of this seemingly natural process.
Here was a wonderful group of young women with healthy-looking, robust infants. The literature said how terrific it was for the well-being of both mother and child, and everything I observed at the meetings validated that. But there was so much more.
Even though the process is supposed to be instinctive, and even though every mother and child looked peaceful and serene, it was the deep down, honest, true-to-the-bone sharing that captured me. “This is harder than I thought,” was a sentence I heard more than once.
I’m launching the Soul Proprietor Community on February 1 for the purpose of providing women entrepreneurs what La Leche League provides for new moms–a haven of support, encouragement and knowledge shared woman to woman in an atmosphere of safety and confidentiality.
This will be a place where you can say, “This is harder than I thought” about being a business owner in 2013. It didn’t used to be this hard, but it is now. And I want to offer a water cooler environment where this difficult truth can be shared, heard and honored. In my business life I have found a safe haven or two to reveal my deep-down truths. But these oases are few and far between.
I am making this offer to women entrepreneurs who identify with the importance of stating what is, being heard, validated and offered suggestions (when requested) to help them move beyond the obstacles and stuck-ness.
We all want to present our best selves and our babies aka our businesses in their best light. In order to accomplish this feat, it’s necessary to have a place to go where you don’t always have to put on “the face.”
Somewhere, sometime, there needs to that haven where you can take off the lookin’ good mask and tell the truth. If you want to find that space too, join me on February 1 to get real and free yourself from the burden of having to look perfect all the time.
Beverly Ellsley hosted our Artsy Girls holiday event at her sumptuous log cabin in Westport, CT last week. There were nearly 30 of us gathered–all creative women nationally recognized, successfully working in illustration, interior design, toy and game invention, quilting, surface design, writing and more.
Ellen Silver, one of our members, sent me this message the next day:
Honest to goodness, the first thing I thought of while waking up this morning was a scene at Jinny Avery’s studio tag sale.The central work table was piled in great sorted lumps of every fabric embellishment, unfinished project pieces, fabulous textiles obviously collected during travels abroad, virtually the detritus of our dreams. The room was pleasantly crammed with quilters, artists, textile designers and confessed fabric collectors; kindred spirits all.
You knew that you could share the joy of a special find with the stranger next to you and they would applaud your selective scrounging. Suddenly from knee-level came a clear and distinct little girl’s voice declaring, ‘This is a room full of happy women.‘
You know the end of my train of thought. That declaration perfectly captured my memory of the night before. I do believe that good vibes are contagious, no matter how much it may sound like a bumper sticker from yesteryear.
Ellen fully captured the essence of the party at Bev’s. We stayed and stayed in this cocoon of joy, friendship, common ground and love. Beverly’s gracious home and effortless hosting was the perfect setting for fostering community and happiness.
I’m still basking in the afterglow of last weekend’s powerful conference at Omega Institute. What matters as much as attending an event like this is what you do with the experience once you’re home. I promised my goal buddy that I’d type up my notes and create three tasks for myself. In addition to what I intend to do personally, I want to add to that list sharing two more of the powerful talks I heard.
Sally Field, who has won not one but two Academy Awards, was mugging like crazy while her introducer went on and on about her credentials. Sally made a gesture like ‘wrap it up already’ as she peaked out from behind the curtain, impatiently waiting to go on. She had us in hysterics before she even took to the microphone.
Her tone and story belied that cheery introduction. I won’t share the very intimate details she revealed to us, but suffice it to say that it backed up her sentiment that “I spent most of my life feeling like a failure.” She made a great case for taking care of unfinished emotional business in order to allow your CORE (what she calls her true self) to come out in all her glory.
Eve Ensler, best known as the creator of the Vagina Monologues, rocked the house with her talk and mission of One Billion Rising, which I plan to fully support, apolitical as I am. I’ll be saying more about this as the February 14, 2013 date approaches.
I continue to hear from some of the outstanding women I met that weekend. My follow up activities are to order Eve’s book I Am An Emotional Creature, to watch Eve’s TED talk on the girl in each of us and also to read an article mentioned by Joan Chittister entitled We Are All Nuns by Nicholas Kristof.
Anyone want to join me for the TED talk?