These tips can be applied for networking in general or if you are looking for a job. I consider the author to be a master networker for many reasons as he has built an organization of over 50,000 members in his niche, which consists of CFO's, and has taught me a lot about MY business AND networking!
Here are the wise words fromMatt Bud, Chairman, The FENG (www.TheFENG.org):
Networking is the gold standard. Done properly you should be building an inner circle of friends upon whom you can depend for the rest of your working life. That’s the goal. If you view this as a one-time effort, you are wasting your time and the time of the many individuals who will take considerable time out of their work day to provide you with assistance.
Targeting your networking contacts will give you the best result. Compare it to asking for directions at a gas station. Unless you are in the immediate neighborhood of where you want to go, you are unlikely to get valid information. If you are in Westport, Connecticut and you pull into a gas station and ask them how to get to Phoenix, Arizona, you are going to get some strange looks. You might even get your head effectively handed to you. In much the same way, being unfocused in your networking yields the same result.
For members of The FENG, studying our membership directory listings BEFORE writing or calling gets the best results. Focus on individuals who have worked at firms where you have worked or at firms that were your firm’s direct competitors. These folks are most likely to have a valid understanding of the work you have done and the conditions under which you have done it.
In the case of firms where you have worked and people who know you or know of you, you are viewed as a “shirt tail cousin” and will tend to get the warmest welcome and the best advice.
I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but asking a networking contact if they are aware of any open jobs is the original non-starter in a conversation. What you are looking for are more networking contacts who will understand who you are and how you perform your magic.
While I hope you will spend the bulk of your time on networking, it is the hardest work you will ever do. Effectively asking others for help when you have little to offer in return at that moment can be difficult.
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
7 incredible facts about women owned businesses
Women have not always been accepted in society, much more in the business world. They had fought hard and well in order to enjoy the liberties that women of today have – education, the right to vote, the right to purchase property, and many more.
Women in business is not a totally new concept. They are well-known for small businesses such as food or creating clothes. However, when it comes to large industries, people still believe that women have no business running them. That was before. Nowadays, women are accepted as CEOs and CFOs in huge multi-national companies. They are every bit as respected, admired and feared when it comes to how they run businesses.
What's wonderful about women led companies is that they take the time to employ more women in the business. This starts from the ranks, to factory workers, to clerks, transcriptionists, IT professionals, designers and more. Women are not afraid to have fellow women run things. Additionally, they also give more benefits to women employees such as maternity leaves, day care benefits and many more.
Women in industry are very diligent and industrious. They know how hard they’ve had to work to get to where they are and this makes them even more dedicated to their businesses. Women who are captains of industry should be emulated and admired. It isn’t easy to overtake men in companies, and it is not often that women are recognized for being the driving force behind the success of businesses.
This infographic celebrates women in businesses and lists down incredible facts about them. Read on and believe in the capability of women.
Posted By Administration,
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
What Should Women Wear to Meetings in 2017?
A guest post by Rachel Stinson
A major part of a woman’s success relies on how well she manages to pull off a desired look. As the old adage goes, “If you look good, you feel good, if you feel good, you play good, if you play good, they pay good.” It stands truer than ever for women in the corporate world looking to hit a milestone in their career in the year 2017.
Attire and dressing become all the more important when you’re anticipating a business meeting with a potential client or other executive personnel in your business niche. Not just that, dressing stylishly for a meeting with your own team can make your conversation with them all the more impacting and lasting.
Therefore, bringing your A-game to the meeting and practicing your pitch are only half of the preparations for a paramount presentation. The other half lies in looking the part and making a statement with your clothes and gestures. For women, this is a competitive arena as more and more ladies venture into the corporate world and plan to conquer it with their eclectic sense of style.
But, don’t you worry! We’ve got your back with these amazing tips on what should you wear to a meeting. Read on!
1. Conventional Ladies Suit
It’s always safe to go back to classics. Remember how the women in old English movies always revert to conventional suits whenever they are getting ready for important meetings. Well, it’s a life saver advice for any influential woman on a roll.
A sleek, well-tailored dark navy blue jacket with gold buttons on it and same colored pants under it is a true classic that you can reach for whenever you have a very formal business meeting. Under the suit, you can wear a pleated silk shirt for a feminine look, paired with pearls. Pearls are a go-to whenever you’re looking for something simple yet classy. You can wrap up this classic formal look with nude-colored court shoes and a wrist watch.
2. Suit Jacket on A Monaco Dress
A solid, black or dark turquoise knee-length Monaco dress makes for a very sleek and stylish formal wear. Go for a paneled dress and a slim belt in an accent color. The Monaco dress has a sliming effect and an exquisitely influential vibe.
Top it with a one-button suit jacket that has long, narrow lapels if you are wearing it to a formal meeting. Put your hair in a neat bun and finish the look again with court shoes or stiletto heels.
3. Skirt Suit
If you want to add an edgy feel to your formal wear, consider a skirt suit. However, if you’re wearing a skirt suit make sure it isn’t too short. Knee-length skirts are ideal for official meetings. Skirt, being modern and dapper, gives you the liberty to play around with the fun jacket styles or colorful blazers.
Opt for blazers that accent the color of your skirt and shirt and express your sense of style in a subtle way. For instance, you can sport a bright white jacket with zipper detailing and slightly frayed for a posh modern look. White is an explicably corporate color and looks even more elegant when worn on an entirely black skirt suit. Wearing your hair down can be the cherry on top of this classy ensemble for meetings.
All of the meetings’ attires mentioned above are easy to assemble and won’t cost you your entire paycheck. Get them from a nearby retail store or a brand selling women’s clothing online and rock your next big meeting with an intimidating outlook.
(Photo credits: Shutterstock)
Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates, restaurants and online fashion stores with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner for all matters.
Posted By Administration,
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
When you have a fully booked calendar plus a lengthy to-do list, the last thing on your mind is organizing paperwork. As a Professional Organizer in NYC, I frequently suggest to clients that they start by making a plan to address their overflowing piles before the paper clutter takes over their space. Instead of trying to block out a large chunk of time in your already busy schedule to completely overhaul your paperwork system, you can implement these simple organizing strategies today and start to see immediate results.
File as you go. As new documents come across your desk, file them as soon as you finish reviewing them. Don’t add to the problem by putting more paperwork on top of the overflowing piles! Make it a habit to immediately file a document when you are finished with it, or schedule five minutes at the end of every day to file all of the paper that has collected that day. Avoid leaving a “to-file” pile for the next day whenever possible.
Not everything needs to be filed. Carefully review documents that cross your desk with eye towards what really needs to be kept. Create retention guidelines with the assistance of your legal and financial advisors and follow them as you review the papers that have collected. Add tasks to your to-do list and important dates to your calendar, and then recycle the paper that delivered that information. Don’t save junk mail, advertisements, or any document that isn’t relevant to your work projects and tasks. With less to save, you’ll have less to file!
Have a designated space for reference and archive files. Reference files which include vendor information or completed project folders should be kept accessible but not in your prime real estate. Tax returns and other legal information should be archived for varying amounts of time. These files can be moved into a storage box and put in a closet or other similar type of location. This will leave space in your desk for your frequently used active files.
Slow down on the printing. Not every email that is sent to you needs to be printed. Instead, organize your email folders and file important emails that you may need to reference at a future date. There will be that occasional email message that you print as a reminder of task that needs to be done. Just be sure that it is trashed as soon as the task has been checked off your to do list.
Declutter in small increments. Tackling the piles of paper in your entire office at one time will be overwhelming. Instead, schedule time to declutter in smaller chunks of time. During that time, focus on one pile of paperwork - process it and then file or recycle it. Set a timer for just 10 minutes and dive in. Make sure you close your internet browsers and don’t take phone calls during this time. Once the timer goes off, you can get back to work.
As a Professional Organizer in NYC, I know that organizing paperwork is overwhelming, but you don’t have to overhaul your entire office in one sitting. You can reap the benefits of office organizing by using these quick paper organizing tips and start enjoying the benefits right away.
Posted By Administration,
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Being a mompreneur – releasing the guilt!
Nancy Ganzekaufer, Women’s Small Business Coach, Trainer, Speaker
Your Business Partner, Helping you create 100% Success without Losing 50% Equity
It feels like a lifetime ago when I was married with young kids. There was always the need to hop up out of bed for a crying or hungry child. Then I’d have a coffee on the way to the gym while my husband watched them and then the need to get home quickly so he could take his turn working out.
The day of driving & coordination would inevitably begin.
I remember feeling always rushed and often flustered having three kids to coordinate doctors, dentists, play dates, school paperwork, and each specific activity that required three times a week practices or rehearsals and not to mention household chores like cooking, tidying, laundry, shopping etc.
And then there was my business ambition & growth which was non-negotiable for me.
I know you totally get it!
Back then, my business was my respite from the hectic days filled with so much “stuff” that was out of my control. I LOVED working & growing my business. Honestly, I probably used my business at times to escape the family frenzy. I could control the business activities much better than the family personalities!!
And, I always got, and still get, so much pride from making money and seeing clients happy. Whether it’s a service or a product (I’ve provided both), a happy client equals a happy me.
Now my kids are getting older and only need me when they are sad, mad, sick, broke or hungry. It’s different, but good, to watch them grow. They are learning to live on their own terms.
I used to worry about whether my kids were negatively affected by seeing their mom work so much growing a business from home. Now, I look at the skills they have learned by watching me and the work ethic they all have and I know that following my dreams of building businesses was OK.
I was back then, and still am, a great mom, business women, friend, daughter, sister and so much more. We all wear so many hats….and hopefully with an awesome pair of shoes!
So now my mornings are quieter and peaceful, something I never thought they’d be. I actually have more time for thinking, reflecting & growing.
I miss the life stages of the past sometimes, but I am starting to really enjoy this stage of re-defining myself, travel, and me time.
Think about it, I just wrote this entire letter to you without one interruption!!
I want to reassure you that the stage you’re in is perfect. It’s where you’re supposed to be, and building your business is a juggle and struggle sometimes, but well worth the effort!!
Keep going strong, keep your eye on your goals and your core values in mind when choosing how to use your time.
Want to chat? Lets connect for a FREE 15-Min. mommy brain reset session! Click here to get on my calendar
Be sure to like my Facebook Page as well!
They used to say, 'do not put all your eggs in one basket', an adage that absolutely applies to investing in our world. We have heard about lots of options when it comes to investing in today's market place: Stocks, REITs, precious metals, etc. Our Financial Planners have done a great job of helping us know these.
But, what we haven't heard about is investing in pre-developed land, also know as Land Banking.
Although major investors like Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch and H. Ross Perot own significant amounts of this type of hard asset in their portfolios, small investors seldom are informed about it as an option.
I am a Land Investment Specialist and one of the few in the USA. These entries will focus on what makes land a smart investment for a well rounded investment / retirement portfolio.
Here are the first two of the 8 critical reasons why you should invest in land.
Reason #1: Limited Supply
Because there are a multitude of factors that make land a smart investment, let's start with the most obvious one. It is limited in supply.
They can print all the paper stocks they want, the mining for gold and silver and other precious metals goes on 24/7. But, they are not making any more land.
When demand for available useable land is high and supply is limited it is the land owner that can seriously profit. If her investment was made before the land was identified for its highest and best use, the profits can be substantial.
Reason #2: Fixed Value
Your Accountant will tell you: "Land is not depreciated because land is assumed to have an unlimited useful life".
Because of its limited supply land has a fixed value. While the values of shares can start crashing in the stock market, you have your land retaining it's fixed value, if not appreciating.
Severe crashes in land and property values are quite rare. As a long term investment land is stable in comparison to other investment types.
Posted By Administration,
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
The Guide to Being a Wildly Efficient One Person HR Team
Guest blog post by Kasey Fleisher Hickey of Allay Inc.
We recently shared some advice for running a lean HR team, but we recognize that not everyone is in the position to have an HR team in place. If your company employs between 5 – 200 people, you are likely relying on a multi-tasking HR generalist, someone without an HR background wearing many hats, or even just yourself. Whether HR is your trade or if you’re just doing what you can to keep the ship running, we’re here to dish out some more advice to help you save your company and yourself a lot of money and grief down the road.
Let technology do the (low-strategy) work for you
As a one person team, your time is precious; optimize for strategic decision-making and let technology do the rest. Freakonomics author Steve Levitt said, “if you can be 10 percent faster at getting the same thing done, then you’ve got 10 percent of your time to do something you’d rather do.”
In the case of HR processes, technology can help you breeze through a lot of recurring tasks so you can focus on the big picture: executing your leadership’s vision for company culture, working with advisors to design better benefits plans for your employees (more on that later), and figuring out new workflows that can help your company be more efficient.
If you’ve already spent a lot of time posting open job recs to job boards and cold emailing potential hires, you’re probably feeling dejected. After all, finding a great candidate this way could feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
As a one person HR team, you can’t afford to spend your time this way. According to Glassdoor, “referrals can boost the chance of a positive match by anywhere from 2.6 to 6.6%, higher than any other interview source.” Not all employees are actively thinking about recruiting, though, so sweeten the pot: offer referral bonuses to encourage everyone on the team to reach out to eligible candidates. Chances are, this approach will help you build a stronger team, faster.
Empower teammates across your organization
Getting things done is easier with the help of a team. And even if you’re a one person HR team, you can engage other employees to take on more ownership over work. The key to communicating a culture of ownership is knowing how to delegate. But good delegation isn’t just assigning projects to managers and team leaders, argues Halley Bock for The Muse — it’s about clearly communicating decision-making power, over and over again. When you entrust other teammates to make decisions on their own, you’ll find that HR becomes more of a team effort with distributed responsibilities and not just a weight on one’s shoulders.
Codify your onboarding process
Establishing a clear process for onboarding isn’t enough: write it down and share it broadly with your team. Make it available in a shared doc and upload it to a cloud service. Having a clear and concise checklist can make the onboarding experience stress-free for you and your new hires.
Be sure to create customizable options, add reminders for appropriate team members, and remember to frequently update the doc with new policies and procedures.
Lean on partners and advisors
Being a one person team can be lonely — so why not get by with a little help from your friends? Leverage relationships with your broker, accountant, and tech vendor, among others. These experts can take away from your mental load, and their expertise will serve you well. Not only will they educate you in areas you might not have familiarity with, but they can help you make better decisions by providing an external, unbiased point of view.
Offer self serve options
Think of your business like a frozen yogurt shop that lets customers choose their portions and toppings themselves. You’ll lower your overhead costs and provide a better experience to employees — not to mention, save your inbox from constant requests that break up your day and your productivity.
Create opportunities for employees to look for and find the information that they need, when they need it. Whether it’s your company’s directory, employee handbook, or overview of your dental plan, creating a place that employees can access themselves means that you won’t be responsible for constantly searching for information on behalf of them.
Stay on top of major compliance issues
You don’t need to be expert in everything (see recommendation above) but you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with key compliance issues. Trust us and think of your future self and read up on ACA, worker mis-classification, harassment, and updates to these and other laws as they apply to your state.
Having an advisor you can call up is always a great idea but you should make sure that the latest and greatest information is available at your fingertips and can be shared and acted upon swiftly.
Running your own HR team is challenging and — hopefully — rewarding, but with a few shifts, you’ll find that you’re not all alone. Try applying some of these tactics to your day-to-day work and watch yourself gain back hours of your day.
I must admit, the first 853 times I heard this phrase I thought “How ridiculous!”
But guess what? I’ve come to learn that if you don’t know what it means, then perhaps you have never faced it.
I went to lunch with a radio show guest of mine, Danielle Tate, who I interviewed recently on What Women Want Talk Radio, and we talked about how common this feeling is, yet how uncommon it is for us to admit that we’ve experienced it.
Danielle is the author of “Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founders Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Business” and has spoken in front of hundreds of hopeful entrepreneurs about this very subject. As she and I spoke after our interview, I realized how very relevant this subject is to women (and men!) of every age. We don’t think about it but have to face it in every aspect of our lives. Have you ever been laid off/fired from a job? Failure. How about started a business and it folded? Failure. Divorce? Failure. I could name numerous other life happenings that we consider to be “failures” but are actually diving boards which we can spring back from and surface to become better than ever from learning from our “failures.”
I listened to the CEO of Bally Americas, Claudia Cividino, recently speak at an Over 40 Females networking event in NYC and she told us that one of the jobs she had previous to Bally she was fired from and it was her biggest failure/life lesson that she could ever imagine. But after that she ended up with the best job that she could ever imagine, which was at Bally, and it would have never happened if she didn’t get bounced from her previous position. Just like Steve Jobs – he dropped out of college, was fired from more than one job and at first not successful at his business ventures, BUT – he had to experience his share of failures to get over and above where he imagined himself to be.
SO, my point is…why be afraid of failure if it eventually gets us to where we want to be and more? Everyone has gone through it and if you don’t let it bring you down it can propel you to worlds beyond your imagination… just ask any successful human being.
Listen to What Women Want's show "I am Woman.Power" here to learn more: http://latalkradio.com/content/women-033016%20#audio_play
What chapter are you in? What are you doing to write a new chapter filled with your dreams come true?
Reflecting on my most recent chapter “A Sabbatical – to pursue coaching,” it has been an amazing journey of personal growth and self-discovery. Little did I know where this journey would lead. Life is fascinating.
When I left Emory in April 2015, the only thing I was sure of - I was tired of being a fundraiser. I lost my passion for it. It had become a chore. However, I didn’t know what the “it” really was. All I knew was I didn’t like how the meaning of fundraising was showing up in my life – I felt it was about raising million dollar gifts for the sake of raising million dollar gifts; not about its impact to change lives. It felt cold and hard-hearted. I was done.
Some of this may have been true, but I didn’t realize that I had a choice. What was this belief based on? Possibly, my own false truths and beliefs? You see, we all have choices. Yet, often times, we don’t see them because of our old belief systems and behaviors. We often want things to be different but are unwilling to change. We think it is easier to stay stuck. That way we don’t have to take responsibility for our role in where we are today.
It is human nature to want to blame others for our discontent and unhappiness. However, we are who we are because of the choices we make! www.mbkcoaching.com
So, in my search for what would be next for me, I remembered how much I had always wanted to be a Coach. I discovered the John Maxwell Team, a company with a top-notch coaching certification program.
Was I scared? You bet I was. However, I knew I needed a change and that I had a passion for mentoring and helping others be their best.
It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I ‘ve ever made in my life.
Why? A number of reasons.
The most important is that it helped me discover my true purpose in life, to believe in myself, and to get rid of old behaviors that were holding me back. John Maxwell says, that the two most important days in our lives – is the day we are born and the day we discover why. I’ve experienced the value of personal growth and building self-awareness. The more I learned about Mary, the more I was able to discover my strengths and purpose in life.
It is through this process that I discovered my “why” in life.
Believe me, it was hard work and took a great deal of reflection, thinking, writing and self-discovery. I have a favorite quote by Christian Simpson, “If you fail to go within, you will go without.” For me, truer words have never been spoken.
Where am I going with all of this?
It is about my next new chapter “Back to Fundraising, As a Different Person.”
Through this amazing process of studying to become a Coach, I have realized and recognized that I am gifted in areas that fulfill my passion all the while raising money for important causes.
Thus, in my new role as Vice President of Development for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, I will be an exceptional leader, mentor and change agent; build a culture of philanthropy; build relationships; provide opportunities for people to connect to their purpose and passion; raise funds that significantly and positively impact PHA’s needs; and thereby positively impact the people involved in making this happen – staff, trustees, donors, volunteers and other key constituents.
So, what is your story going to be? You can begin with just one step…one new chapter.
Mary B. Kozik, CFRE
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live
the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
This is how the conversation starts with almost every client. They proceed to tell me how they don't like the way they look in their photos and they say that they just don't look good in photos and therefore are uncomfortable getting their picture taken.This is coming from a place of insecurity and self-critisim, I get it. If you are uncomfortable in front of the camera and feel like you are unphotogenic then check out these easy tips of how to look great in photos:
1. MINDSET: We read about it in blog after blog, MINDSET is a huge part of feeling good. If you come into the shoot with the belief that you do not look good in photos it will be more difficult for you to relax. As Sophia Lauren said:
I believe this to be so true! My mission as a photographer is to make every woman believe she is the most beautiful person in the world. Yes, professional hair and makeup does wonders, but it is the inner beauty that really shines through.
2. BREATHE: A photo shoot is not an X-Ray! It came to me after a while that most people hold their breath while posing for a picture. It's like when I say "smile at me" they hear, "OK, I'm going to take your X-Ray, hold your breathe and stay still."
NO! As a photographer, I want to see you breathing, I need to see the life in you to capture a photo that reflects exactly that you are alive! And I don't mean, not dead, but I mean excited to be who you are and doing what you are doing.
3. WEAR CLOTHING YOU FEEL GREAT IN: You must feel good in order to look good and if you are wearing clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable, you are going to look uncomfortable. This is why I also advise my clients to "bring that outfit you have in your closet that you love and feel like a million bucks in but never have a chance to wear. Let's celebrate it!" I understand that my clients come to me for head shots but that is no reason why you can't wear a dress or evening gown that you feel great in. Here is a perfect example.
My client came in for the head shot to promote her new book. She brought multiple outfits to the shoot and we selected a few to photograph. We started with a more business look of a turtleneck top and a scarf around her neck and we ended with the long green Izzy Miyake dress. Like many of my clients, when they get out of their head that the photo is a "head shot" they feel great, relaxed and beautiful!
4. Lean Towards The Camera: Most people have the tendency to "fall away from the camera" when being photographed. It is the fear of the photographer either being too close or/or a normal reaction to not wanting to be photographed.
When you fall away from the camera, your face will appear smaller than your body. You must remember, whatever is closest to the camera will appear larger than what is further away." If you have a part of your body that you want to seem smaller then move it away from the lens.
5. SMILE FROM YOUR HEART: Tyra Banks coined the phrase "smize" a word to describe "smiling with your eyes" and although that is great advice, I like to say, "Smile with your heart.
It takes the pressure off the face and allows the true spirit of the person come through much better.
Don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I have helped hundreds of women just like you to overcome their fears of being photographed. As a woman over 40 myself, I understand the insecurities of being having my picture taken. But, with my years of working in the Fashion Industry making women’s clothing and understanding the shapes of a woman’s body, and as an artist who understands colors and shapes, I know what it takes to make you look your best. Email Alyssa Peek at email@example.com for more information!
Behind My Lens:
Need a little support? Recently 2 women I was photographing brought friends with them for moral support. I love a full studio! http://peekphotography.nyc/
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
5 Great Home Based Franchises, by Jane Stein
Tutor Doctor - Tutor Doctor is a leader in providing affordable one on one supplementary education to students (and adults) through offering in home tutoring to families. Tutor doctors are leaders in their communities, NOT tutors (83% of franchisees have NO background in education). It’s all about people skills. You must enjoy working with children and teenagers and be active (or be willing to start!) in their local communities. You’ll join the chamber, network like mad and speak at schools and put up booths at community events where parents will be. You’ll also recruit the best tutors you can find. It’s a fulfilling opportunity for someone who wants to make a difference in the lives your customers. What sets Tutor Doctor apart from other tutoring businesses is their unique matching of the students with the RIGHT tutor, based on the student’s individual needs – such as learning style, academic needs and personality. Starting investment – around $60,000.
CertaPro Painters - CertaPro is the largest painting company in North America. What makes CertaPro unique in the service category, is the fact that their owners drive revenue from both residential (B2C) and commercial (B2B) clients. CertaPro offers extensive training and marketing support. Business owner’s scale by adding salespeople for both residential and commercial sales, and most of the owners use subcontractors to produce the work - keeping overhead low. They are looking for executive management types - with leadership, management and/or some sales or client interfacing background. In this business you won’t be painting – you hire the painters, work home shows, network, and market your business via SEO and traditional methods. They are very woman friendly – offering a discount on the franchise fee for women. Starting investment – around $125,000.
Budget Blinds - Budget Blinds was founded on the principle of providing high quality window coverings to consumers in a highly convenient way and at prices that fit almost every budget. That was 1992. Today, the Budget Blinds franchise system of nearly 1,000 franchises still strives to provide consumers with the same superior products through convenient, complimentary in-home consultations. This business ramps up quickly, requires few employees, and they boast that 75% of appointments result in sales. Every year since 1996, Budget Blinds has been voted the #1 window coverings franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine (Entrepreneur, 2015). Budget Blinds has recently been named as an award winner in Franchise Business Review’s 2015 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards. Starting investment – around $75,000.
CMIT Solutions – CMIT Solutions is focused on providing information technology services to small and medium sized businesses. Long term flat rate contracts provide a predictable revenue stream and give your customers better and more consistent support. Due to the recurring revenue and the small number of customers needed to get to breakeven, this is a way to build a very profitable business. This company has proven systems and partners, low overhead, few employees, high margins and you maintain business hours as this is a B to B model. You will be developing long term relationships with your small business clients – CMIT becomes the outsourced IT provider – a one stop shop for all their computer needs. CMIT home office provides full back office support, including a 24 x 7 Network Operations Center and Help Desk providing client access during standard business hours nationwide. The ideal owner has a business background and sales and marketing experience. Candidates with IT management experience are a huge plus. Starting investment – around $125,000.
British Swim School - British Swim School is the leader in "Learn to Swim" programs. It was revolutionary in developing a survival program that enables the very young to survive an accident in water. Its gentle fun program makes it a number one choice for all parents. The business model, with low investment and low overhead make it a highly profitable, quick starting and fast break even business. You will contract with pools in Fitness Centers, Schools, Hotels, Sports clubs etc., bringing revenue to the host for an underutilized loss leader facility. It’s a perfect win/win situation! Franchisees purchase a demographic area in which there are over twenty thousand children in a medium to high-income bracket. Within those parameters they are encouraged to open as many locations as they can find. Ideal candidates are family focused, passionate about saving lives and have a business or management background. This business requires minimal capital to start and is easy to scale. They will show you how to find the pools and will even locate the first one for you. They will develop a marketing calendar for you. Starting investment – around $75,000.
Home based businesses are, by definition, service businesses. Service businesses offer the highest margins, fastest ramp up times and the lowest overhead. That’s why they’re such a popular choice with folks who want to control their schedules, and base themselves in a home office.
Jane Stein is the founder of Your Franchise is Waiting, a consultancy firm for men and women exploring franchising as an alternative career path.
Check out these other great blogs posts about getting your new business started today!
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2015
This is a guest blog post by Chicago Chapter member Michelle Smith, you can connect with her by clicking HERE
You know the story of the shoemaker's children, right? They didn't have any shoes because the shoemaker was too busy making shoes for all his customers. So often I hear my clients, as well as myself and fellow business owners, talk about how they feel like the shoemaker.
When you look at all we have to do to run a business and to take care of things on the home front, it's no wonder there isn't time left to make our own shoes. When I worked for companies throughout my career, I was always working, working, working so that I could help families in the commmunity and could help my staff enjoy their families. Since budgets were often limited, I was doing the job of many and had too many balls for one person to juggle. Being a super woman, I wore my badge with honor and kept moving forward without ever noticing that I barely spent time with my own family. When I started my own business, I chose to run things differently. I see the value of hiring people to do things I shouldn't be spending time on because it allows me to work less hours and spend time with my family. Despite that, this shoemaker's child/business still has no shoes.
So, what do I mean by that? I mean that I teach businesses how to focus on the relationships in their business, but I have had so much to do that I haven't been able to practice what I preach. I help people create a plan for their business in just 3 days but I haven't taken the 3 days needed to update my plan for the year. Why is that? Well, because there are only so many hours in the day. I prioritize and the first place I spend my time and energy is on serving the clients who have invested in my services. I then spend time getting to know potential new clients and make my shoes only when all that is done. This is universally the same story I hear from my clients and others. Each story is filled with guilt because the person feels disingenuous with what they teach and they aren't being a good role model for their clients.
Take a minute to think about your favorite massage therapist. Can that person give him/her self a massage? Of course not. So why do we expect ourselves to be able to do everything, including that thing we do to help others? The fact of the matter is that the shoemaker's kids could have had shoes if he was willing to ask another shoemaker to help him. Creating that 3-day plan may not be the best use of my time and resources, especially if I can have another expert do it for me. Likewise, focusing on relationships would be much easier if I had my assistant help me instead of trying to do it all myself.
I wish I would've known what I do now all those years I was working for other companies. How nice it would have been to take a step back and look for the ways I could empower others to take some of the balls I was juggling so that I could spend more time with my family. I'm so blessed, though, that I realize it now and that I've been able to change the way I run my business and interact with my family. It's also nice to be able to use my pain to help others live a more balanced and fulfilled life.
I was recently the speaker at my WOAMTEC meeting, Throughout the presentation I shared a lot of the trials and tribulations I've had running a business. I was approached after and given some very heartfelt, genuine compliments. One person shared how they appreciated my always being vulnerable enough to talk about my weaknesses. They said it helps them see that everyone is human and that although it may look easy from the outside, there are often struggles on the inside. Interestingly enough, I learned that lesson almost two years ago when I was doing a presentation at my WESOS meeting. Everything that could go wrong in the hours prior did, and one of the ladies (Evie Burke) suggested I embrace imperfect action. She shared that people appreciate it when we show them we aren't perfect. That advice was career changing......especially since I was a HUGE perfectionist at the time....and two years later, it's now just naturally who I am to let people see that I'm far from perfect.
I'm glad I'm no longer wearing the super woman badge or the badge of perfection anymore as both were too heavy to continue to wear. I'm also glad that I'm making changes that help me feel like a good role model for my clients and like I'm living in alignment with what I teach. I encourage others to do the same because the longer we go on living the life of the shoemaker, the more likely it is that we will lose credibility and the faith of our clients.
Do you feel like a shoemaker? If so, share in the comments below and tell us what you are going to do to shift your perspective and to embrace your limitations so that you can start being that role model you know others look for you to be and live in alignment with what you teach.
You can find Michelle's original blog post by going to http://zandbconsulting.com
When it comes to how to be heard at work, it can be tough out there. No less an authority on women in the workplace than Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently laid out the issues: Women who speak up at work can be ignored or even disliked for their assertiveness — and there was plenty of research to back that up.
But statistics and research are only part of the story. You can bet Sheryl Sandberg gets heard at her work and you can too. Here are some strategies.
Don’t buy the stereotypes
In a great Inc.com post, Geoffrey James debunks some of the ideas that fuel an it-ain’t-fair narrative for working women. Think women make less money than men? James breaks down the numbers. Think women are disrespected for being too chatty? James has current research that shows men and women speak approximately the same number of words a day.
Ask whether you are tripping yourself up by buying into the negatives. After all, how can you assert power when you go in assuming a deficit?
The quickest way to get respect is to respect and value yourself. Don’t heed the urge to hedge your comments or positions with qualifiers like, “Maybe we should try…” or “I don’t know but…”
You can be doing this unconsciously. Sobering research in the U.K. revealed that most jokes told in board rooms by female board members fell flat. Was it because the female board members, who undoubtedly are powerful women, still held less power than the male board members? Maybe. But what might be more telling, according to a Financial Times columnist, was that the jokes told by the women were almost always self-deprecating.
Men are used to women being self-deprecating. Women who say, or better yet show, “I’ve got this” are bound to stand out.
Don’t make it all about gender.
Men and women can have the very same issues about being heard in the workplace. Issues like being uncertain, uncomfortable in groups, or not all that great at speaking or thinking on the fly are not all about gender.
You may need to step back and study the communications styles at your workplace to understand how to get your point across. You may need some coaching. You might seek out a mentor — male or female — to give you some tips. But never chalk it up as a lost cause due to gender. And if you really can’t get past the whole gender thing, you might want to look for a career where being female is just not a factor.
Be competitive….if that’s your style
Advice is really great, but only use the stuff that resonates with you. The bottom line is be who you are, with conviction. If you have a competitive edge, don’t hide it. If you are a nurturer, go ahead and nurture. Be savvy, of course. Even if you feel your authentic self is a homebody, that’s no license to drone on and on about your new curtains during a meeting. There’s a reason it’s called work.
However, being authentic, informed and prepared is more powerful than any pose you might adopt as a strategy. One of the gentlest souls I have ever known rose to the C-suite by being her kind and incredibly intelligent self. One of the most successful men I ever saw ended his life in suicide because he was not able to be himself in his career. Being yourself and having a voice are intertwined. Work on uncovering that authentic self, and your voice will follow.
“It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are – not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within – that you can begin to take control.”
Going into business for yourself is the American dream.
These days, driven by the desire to make the world a better place or to express themselves or to simply have the joy of spending all day long doing exactly what they love, women are leading the way. According to the 2014 Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker, women-owned microbusinesses have been on the rise for 20 years, and now nearly half (45.7 percent) of newer microbusinesses are started or owned by women.
While one in three microbusiness owners (31 percent) depend more on a second job for their personal income than they do on their business, 69 percent say owning their own business is the ideal job.
So be encouraged. Think about how simple ideas — like the ride-sharing service Uber — can revolutionize entire industries. Or how businesses started in humble circumstances can grow into fortunes. In 1969 Debbi Fields was a “ball girl” for the Oakland As Major League baseball team earning $5 an hour during games. She took the earnings and bought the first ingredients for the cookies she would later make famous as Mrs. Fields.
Do you have a microbusiness idea? Are you looking for one?
Do you love to bake or cook? Do people rave about your peanut butter pie or apple marmalade? Do you live in or near a metropolitan area that provides a large, ready market for things like specialty breads or unique prepared foods? The new interest in locally sourced goods can help spur your cooking pastime into a money-maker. Selling online is another option, especially if you have a knack for marketing and your product lends itself to shipping.
Considerations: Do you need any kind of local health certification to produce and sell food stuffs? Are there limits to what you can produce at home or will you have to go to a commercial kitchen?
Farm to table
You can build a business selling specialty produce on a plot as small as 1/4 acre. If you have a green thumb and can get a sense for what local chefs and food markets are looking for, you can make money selling what you grow. Some successful farm-to-table operations; goat milk products, fresh greens, baby vegetables, specialty, rare or heritage veggies. You can even get into farming with NO land. Check out this post on growing micro-greens.
Considerations: Will you be able to grow enough to make enough? Is the local market for these goods really robust? Do you truly have a green thumb — you don’t want to discover growing was something you loved only in theory.
If you love to shop garage and estate sales, you can create your own small business reselling the treasures you find. Almost every mid-sized city has “antique malls” renting spaces for vendors to sell goods. Or you could consign your finds at a consignment shop or open your own shop.Selling online through eBay, Etsy or other outlets is another great option, especially if you have access to unique vintage, regional or salvage items.
Considerations: You will have overhead in the form of booth rental, marketing, shipping, and of course shopping for your goods.To be successful with a booth or online store, you need to constantly refresh your merchandise line. As a one-person operation, you will be doing a lot of shopping and hauling and you may need a vehicle capable of transporting large items. You will also need storage.
If you live in or near a major metropolitan area with lots of busy professionals, being a concierge is a micro-business option. Run people’s errands, meet workmen or the cable guy at their home, pick the kids up from school, handle home emergencies. You will have to have a good car and a great contacts list: The more services you can provide — and the more professionals like plumbers, electricians, handymen and IT guys you can deliver with a single call — the more indispensable your clientele will find you.
Considerations: You will be at the beck and call of others, sometimes in the middle of the night! Are you customer-service oriented and trustworthy? Can you keep a smile on your face and a focus on the task at hand, no matter how demanding people might get?
Got a great sense of style and an idea for a handbag, jewelry, clothing or home decor line? It’s easier than ever to break into this business with direct sales through Etsy and other sites. Be aware opening a storefront on Etsy is the easy part; you will have to work hard and spend some money to get visibility online. And you will probably have to commit weekends to showing your goods at local fairs and expos, and perhaps even travel to markets where your type of goods are sold to retailers.
Considerations: This is not an easy way to make money. In addition to making your product, you will be spending a lot of money and a lot of time on marketing, without the guarantee of a return, as this earlier post on Moxie Lady shows.
Peggy Conger is a frequent contributor to Moxie Lady. She is a writer, editor and a trail rider of great passion. She might have a book in her, but she would have to stop riding long enough to write it, something not likely to happen soon.
10 Challenges Senior Executives face during Their Job Search
When it comes to the corporate job market, one thing is lucidly clear, and that is that the market is highly competitive and job candidates must ensure that they are on point in every aspect of the recruitment and job search process. When it comes to senior executives, an entirely different set of challenges emerge that are distinct and exclusive to them. This article presents 10 distinct issues that senior executives are usually confronted with during their job search.
1. A Deflated Ego
It is not uncommon for a senior executive to struggle with the psychological and emotional issues surrounding their current state of unemployment. They can begin to question themselves as a direct result of a loss of self-esteem. It can become difficult to maintain a lucid sense of self-worth and to maintain a vivid self-concept. The person who was once certain of their direction and purpose may begin to question their situation. The loss of control can also create fear.
2. The Lack of Support & Resources
For many senior executives, the ability to set policy and delegate tasks has dissipated their ability to function in an administrative role that requires them to handle many of the tasks themselves. The person may lack some basic habits that are considered necessary to manage logistics and the organization of specific tasks. They could also be technologically impaired, subsequently creating specific challenges associated with the job search process.
3. High-End Jobs Are Hard to Find or Duplicate
Due to the fact that high-end jobs are scarce, the job search process may take longer than expected. Additionally, the prolonged wait may also exacerbate some of the feelings of inadequacy experienced in No. 1.
4. Maintaining High Compensation
It is difficult for senior executives to find jobs that will sustain their most recent level of compensation. This is difficult at any time; however, it is definitely an exacerbated issue amidst a turbulent or down economy. The senior executive may also be perceived as a threat to other senior employees.
5. The Inability to Reach the Appropriate Contacts
When it comes to being hired at this level, it is often about making the right contacts to get their foot in the door. There is definitely a significantly higher barrier of entry that must be overcome. When it comes to senior executive roles, the human resources route produces very little in the way of efficacious results.
6. Internal Promotions for High Level Positions
There are many companies that have adopted a policy of promoting from within the company whenever possible. This means that there will be a number of team members who will have paid their dues in line for any top level positions, meaning the senior exec would have to completely outshine the internal candidates, and also be willing to take a significant pay cut. Many companies view outsiders through leery lenses, making it immensely difficult to break through an almost impenetrable barrier. It can also be costly for a company to recruit an outside high-level executive, and with such a volatile economy, many companies are not be willing to spend the resources necessary to bring in a senior executive.
7. Higher Level of Competition at the Top
Senior level executive jobs often receive national exposure, meaning that the competition for the job position is much steeper. The more desirable a position is, the more people will be in line for it. There are only so many senior executive positions due to the fact that there is not a great deal of turnover at the higher levels. Senior executives understand the difficult nature of securing top level positions, so during lean years, they are less likely to leave a position.
8. Perceived to be Too Old
Age can also be a factor. It is not uncommon for senior executives who have reached a certain age to be considered "over the hill' or "washed up," meaning that it will take a company with an open-minded culture to be able to move past the stereotypes associated with age. Although a company will probably not say that a candidate is washed up, they may say that they are overqualified.
9. The Locked in Paradigm
The paradigm associated with being the boss can make it extremely difficult to ask for help. Very rarely will senior executives experience the vulnerability associated with looming layoffs; therefore, the current experience is somewhat alien and difficult to process.
10. The Perception of Others
There are times when it may be difficult for others to perceive the true depth and need of a senior executive who is in need of a job. There will be times in which people will simply fail to take the candidate seriously, assuming that they could not possibly need a job. There will be others who will be in a form of denial, simply refusing to accept the fact that the candidate's crisis is real.
By taking the time to gain a more lucid perspicacity of some of the challenges that are unique to senior executive a senior executive can develop strategies to help themselves create solutions to their challenges.
Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, she was employee #7 at Rent.com, where she first worked with ZipRecruiter’s founders. Her philosophy on human resources infuses the company culture: “To create an open, enriching environment by hiring the best, keeping the rules to a minimum and making it fun.” She’s married and has three active children to whom who she enjoys playing chauffeur.
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
TIPS TO TAPING YOUR VIDEO LIKE A ROCKSTAR!
These days, video is the way to go. If you are in business, provide a service, sell a product and have a website, video is on the top of your must-have list because it allows your prospects to get up close and personal with you. They can hear your voice, see your smiling face, get a feel for your personality, your mannerisms and just generally get to know, like and trust you.
Getting ready for that video taping is nerve racking for most as this is not simply one of those cute cat videos, this is all about you and what you have to offer, even potentially what problem you are about to solve for the viewer. If they are going to hire you, buy from you or even engage with your free consult call, they are more likely to partake of your offering if they have seen you in action.
First and foremost, kudos to you who are bravely stepping in front of the camera. A single camera lens can be just as nerve racking as an audience of 250 people.
There are two key components to a successful video.
1. The message – I leave that to you.
2. The delivery – that’s where I come in.
Behind your delivery is you, your appearance, your image and your brand. So let’s begin there because I want you to focus on your message as opposed to second-guessing your appearance.
One of the best ways to get you to think about the details is for you to pretend that you are the online viewer of your stream and go into the viewing knowing that what can go wrong, will go wrong. So let’s talk about what details we can manage so certain things won’t go wrong.
The lighting and lenses. As much as we all prefer soft lighting and forgiving lenses; that is not usually something we can manage. Think florescent bulbs and magnifying mirrors instead. Have you ever walked by your big screen TV and seen one of your favorite actors in HD and remarked, my how did she get so wrinkled? There is not much we can do about wrinkles in a week, although the infomercials seem to be able to give you a facelift in 30-minutes. The best defense? Start moisturizing in advance, including eye cream and neck cream. Increase your water intake by at least 16 ounces a day so your skin is well hydrated. Then dump out your makeup bag. If your makeup is old and moldy, that’s the way your face will look. Search out some new product! Visit a salon or makeup counter for a makeover a week in advance so you have time to perfect the new pencils, powders and glosses!
Your next appointment? Consider visiting the hairdresser, and maybe even finding a new one before your taping. Make sure your color is right, your cut is current and that you can do it yourself, even on a rainy day! Note the Dry Bars in your area; you can always schedule a blow out for the taping day just to be safe.
Moving on down – the next thing is the bling! You know my mantra, direct from my friend Stacy London –color, texture & shine! Let’s frame your face with some shine either with the earrings, the necklace or both. It should not be an afterthought; it should be selected with purpose. Select the color of the metals, the stones and the length of the chain. Do you want it shorter so it sits just below your clavicle bone or longer so it sits on the upper chest? Make sure it doesn't hang so long that it splits your breasts. If you are wearing a jacket lavaliere make sure the necklace doesn’t come in contact with that. If you are holding a mic make sure your bracelet isn’t noisy, as that will no doubt get picked up.
For this set-up let’s presume you are wearing a jacket, blouse and pant combo. The jacket must fit, flatter and be impeccably well tailored. There should be a bit of a shoulder pad, and preferably a low one-button stance. This is not the time to wear a double-breasted jacket, as you look a bit unapproachable. You want your clothing to feel fluid so you are free to move about the stage, perhaps pointing to a PowerPoint or just being expressive with your hands. You do not want to have to pull a buttoned up jacket down once you have raised your arm. I recently watched one of Hollywood’s iconic females interviewed and she had a leather jacket that she must have pulled on every five seconds because it kept riding up each time she moved. An unplanned wardrobe malfunction, slight I admit, but distracting to the viewer. And make sure the sleeves are the right length, right at the wrist bone, no longer, no shorter.
The pants, whether they are black, navy, charcoal or another neutral, need tofitprecisely. Be sure there is no side pocket gaping, sew them closed or buy pants without side pockets if you are a curvy girl. Make sure they are lint free and well pressed, preferably with center creases to create those all important vertical lines. Be sure the length is spot on with the hem being a tad shorter in the front and longer in the back.
Now to the blouse, the connector for your jacket and pant. If you are connecting two solids, then a bit of a pattern to bring in a third color would work, however be careful of the pattern. Try to make it minimal and not trendy. Bows and arrows might be in right now, but not so much after the Hunger Games are long forgotten. And a floral pattern may look good on your tablecloth, but not so much on video. If you want to stay with a solid, then be sure your necklace brings the colors of the jacket, pants and blouse together, making it a true connector piece.
If you are tucking your blouse, be sure you wear a belt if the pants have loops and be sure the metal of the buckle matches the metal of the necklace and matches any metal adornment of the shoes. Silver to silver, gold to gold.
The shoes are where the tire meets the road. First, they cannot be noisy as you walk across the stage, no Clydesdales allowed. Second, you have to be secure; we don’t need stair mishaps or wobbly weaving as you walk across the stage. Lastly they need to be well-polished and there needs to be a plan for how the shoe ‘connects’ to the pant. Meaning? Well you don’t plan to wear red socks do you? Then what is the plan? Will there be bare skin or hosiery, will it be nude or black? Make a plan by getting dressed, sitting down, crossing your legs and ‘seeing’ what you see. Be prepared. I once spoke to 200 corporate men and one of the first things I asked them (after telling all gents with pocket protectors to leave the room) was to cross their legs and look down and if they saw hairy calves they had to go home, throw away all their ankle socks and invest in over-the-calf socks! There was a collective roar throughout the room as many hairy calves were exposed.
As you pull this look together, be sure how you present yourself is a representation of your brand. Be sure your branding is consistent across all of your platforms. If you are consistently conservative, then now is not the time to rock your red leather pants.
Remember this video will probably live on your website, so consider the flavor and the color palette of that as you choose the colors for your clothing. They don’t have to match exactly but they should not be polar opposites either.
Your video will live to infinity and beyond. Brand it in a way that you personally will still like five years from now.
Still unsure? Let’s grab 30-minutes on the phone to go over your personal plan. Don’t delay; you may need to factor in a purchase or a trip to the tailor to pull your polished look together. We’ll chat about your stage presence, your wardrobe challenges, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to‘meeting’ you on the phone!
In Need of Virtual Styling?
You are among the growing number of women who are virtually outsourcing their style. Updating your image, your wardrobe and finding your authentic style is a very personal journey and you shouldn’t be limited to your local resources. That goes for both stylists and stores! Link here to get this party started with a complimentary phone consult! Virtual Styling Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist, professional speaker and author. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.
And of course, let’s keep the conversation going below. Comments are golden!
By Peggy S. Bud, Education and Communication Consultant
No matter what you do, you are always communicating, whether it is with your children, family, co-workers, customers or clients. In all situations your success is directly linked to how effectively you communicate. Yet, effective communication takes practice as it isn’t an innate skill. Different people communicate differently; men and women communicate differently. In addition to gender differences, communication differences can be related to culture, region, nationality, age, and education.
It is said that when top management is diverse, that diversity may have a positive impact on a company’s success. Even though about 70% of the women in the United States are in the work force, most of them are not in top management. Therefore a company’s diversity is not usually linked to gender.
Gender significantly impacts how women communicate both at work and at home. Research has found that there are communication skills that are gender specific and hard-wired. Neurobiologists have identified that the language and emotion centers of the brain are larger in women, which is one reason why women and men communicate differently. Women are usually more verbal than men; they are usually better listeners than men. Women find it easier to communicate with other women rather than with men. Why? Historically women were left home to take care of the children and the house, while the men went off to work. Women spent a great deal of time with other women. They talked while they car pooled, shopped, dropped off the kids and ran errands. Now that they are a significant part of the work force, they have to learn how to effective communicate with men.
Statistical data shows that women tend to talk about 3 times as much in a given day as men. Neurobiologists have found that the female brain is more verbally agile. According Dr. Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain, women are hardwired differently than men; their strength is in the area of language and emotions. Women worry about relationships and try to avoid conflict, which makes it more difficult for them to be authoritative. Being prepared is the best way to counter challenges by men. When a woman wants to challenge an idea or the status quo, she needs to be prepared by not only clearly communicating what she thinks or believes but why.
Words are only about 10% of any message. Tone, pitch, volume, and rate, which are the other components of an oral message, are 30% of the message. All of these characteristics have a gender component. The male vocal range is naturally lower than the female vocal range. When words are said at a lower pitch they sound more caring. Men also tend to speak at a slower rate than women; women need to concentrate on making their message clear and easily understood by speaking slower. Women should focus on pitch, tone, volume and rate, recognizing how those components impact their overall message. A higher pitch may send a message that the speaker is angry, excited or frightened. Women, who naturally speak softer and faster than men, may compromise their messages based on volume or rate. Effective communication comes with practice!
Learning to slow down ones speech is an art. When developing this skill, think about how your speech feels as well as sounds. Are you leaving off the ends of words? Do you speak in phrases to help people comprehend what you are saying? Be your own judge. Record yourself. Listen to how you sound. Can you be understood? Does your message sound rushed? Do you sound like you care? Do you sound angry? Annoyed? Confident? Is your message filled with so many clauses that it is difficult to understand?
About 60% of any message is sent non-verbally; through gestures, posture, and eye contact. Because most women are shorter than men, having eye contact when standing and speaking to a man can be a challenge. Wearing high heels can reduce that problem by adding 2-4 inches to a woman’s height. This simple trick will make you closer to the height of your male colleague. You can also invite the person to sit down and chat, again helping to ensure that you can have eye contact when talking.
Wearing high heels may build a woman’s confidence because it helps her posture. Women tend to stand straighter and taller when wearing heels. Good posture, shoulder’s relaxed, head held high, and of course a smile, sends a message that you are confident about what you are saying.
For women, being an effective communicator in the male dominated world of business presents challenges. Women who are leaders must sound confident and authoritative. They may have to make choices that affect their relationships with colleagues and co-workers. These decisions can be difficult because women tend to want to preserve relationships and diffuse conflict. Whereas men don’t mind a good fight and they tend to use the conflict to gain status.
In this article, I have highlighted a few of the communication issues that can affect women in the workplace. Please write to me at Peggy@PeggyBud.com and share your stories. Tell me about your communication challenges that may have made you feel less confident or less able to contribute at work as a leader or team member. I also welcome any questions you might have regarding effective communication.
With warm regards, Peggy
About Peggy: Peggy Bud is an Education and Communication Consultant with a background in speech pathology and school administration. She uses her knowledge of how people learn and process information to teach her clients effective communication skills. It’s more than what you say; it’s how you say it. Peggy can be reached at Peggy@PeggyBud.com or via telephone 203.227-8723. Learn more at her web site: www.PeggyBud.com
So much that is written about job search centers on very public activities –lots of networking, a big marketing push, social media activity. But what if you want to quietly look for a job? Perhaps you are currently employed and don’t want to broadcast to your boss that you are looking. Perhaps you aren’t even sure you want to leave but just want to see what is out there.
You never want your current employer to fear you could walk out the door any minute. That said, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at all. Employers won’t broadcast if they are looking to replace you, restructure your job away, or outsource your job elsewhere. Employers freely explore changes to suit their business, and you should freely explore changes to suit your career. Here are tips to do this discreetly:
Build your LinkedIn connections slowly. Social media is an acceptable passive tool to search but if you are just now getting active and adding dozens of connections in rapid succession, that’s an unnecessarily obvious display. Reach out to a handful of connections each day, rather than all at once, and personalize your approach so it’s clearly about reconnecting, not at all job-related. Be excited and content when you talk about your current role and company.
Raise your professional profile within your current job. Pick a business issue that will genuinely help your current employer, and make it a point to research this issue, speak about this issue, get published or quoted on this issue, attend conferences on this issue, and otherwise establish your expertise in this issue. This is going above and beyond, which will help your career overall, but still in service of where you are.
Use job boards and recruiters sparingly. Recruiters love passive candidates, and the best time to nurture the relationship is when you don’t need it. So if Heidrick & Struggles contacts you, yes, you should respond and try to be helpful. But don’t go after recruiters en masse –one of them might be working for your boss. Job boards are off-limits (i.e., don’t post your resume), but feel free to use them for research. Look at the companies you are interested in and see what they are posting. If you’re a marketer for Unliever, it’s good research to know what Johnson & Johnson or Proctor & Gamble are posting as their marketing needs.
If you are employed and can build out your social media brand over time, raise your professional profile as an expert, and cultivate relationships with executive recruiters, then you have quietly but surely positioned yourself to know about your market and be known to your market without ever actively launching a search.
Bonus tip for the unemployed or otherwise publicly active job seeker: do what the currently employed can do in their job search. There is an attractiveness in being passive and detached from your search, in being able to take or leave an offer, as many employed job seekers can. Even if you are actively looking, even if you think you’d jump at the very next offer, keep yourself busy with temp work or projects or some other activity than just your search so you don’t have to take the next offer (even if you would). Be a quiet job seeker, whether you have a job or not.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart® career coaching. She has worked with executives from Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, eBay, Gilt, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, and other leading firms. She’s also a stand-up comic, so she’s not your typical coach. Check out SixFigureStart® free resources on Negotiation, Networking, and Personal Branding, including a free download for entrepreneurs. Or follow Caroline on Forbes.