November 2008


Hi everyone. Unfortunately due to illness, I will be postponing the release and workshop event until December 6th.  Thos who have registered already will have your registration transferred to that date and be sent the new log in information.  If you have any questions, please email me directly. My apologies to all, but I had not expected to come down with the flu.  Thank you for your support.

full_cover_smallGo Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking

By popular demand, Go Ahead is now available online! No matter where you are in the world, you can now participate in this very important workshop.

Let’s face it, this economy is on shaky ground. As witnessed by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s powerhouse companies like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, we never know when our cushy job is in jeopardy. If your company collapsed tomorrow, what would you do? Do you have a contingency plan like starting a business? Do you have a solid network of key decision makers who could help you in landing your next opportunity? Chances are if you haven’t taken the time to build a strong network, you don’t have many allies who can help you in a pinch.

Go Ahead Talk, to Strangers, based on the book written by Adrienne Graham, gives you the foundations of becoming a fearless networker. In this session, some of what you will learn includes:

* Branding yourself

* Build, communicate with and tap into your network

* Networking with top executives and key decision makers

* Making a memorable impression on the people you meet

* Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert and an asset

* Being a fearless networker

* Navigating and tapping into traditional and social networking

* Using networking to advance your career or build your business

Don’t miss this dynamic session that prepares you to become a powerful and empowered networker. Your real networking experience begins at this seminar. Adrienne Graham gives attendees a look into her own networking journey, shares her experiences and best advice on building your own network from a position of confidence and strength, and gets the audience involved in interactive networking exercises. Graham will also read a chapter from the book.

Date: December 6, 2008

Time: 11 AM- 2 PM

Location: Online- log in information provided after payment is received.

Cost: $69

Register today:

Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Must have internet access to attend this session. Drawings will be conducted for a $25 American Express Gift Check, a copy of the book Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers, and 1 free networking coaching session with Adrienne Graham. Event will be recorded.

22781140OK, I’m used to people falsely calling me a sexist against men. *yawn* I had to laugh at this email I received from a guy who apparently has a problem with me championing women (actually he called me a racist and a sexist because of my Empowered Latina and Empowered Black Women networks under Empower Me). I generally ignore the very few email I get in that tone but I had to address it this time. I’m not going to sit here and defend myself against those idiotic claims of racism or sexism as those who know me or have read anything from me know my true heart.

So I get an email chastising me regarding my perceived “Old Boys Network Bashing”. I had to laugh. The gentleman said he felt that by encouraging women and writing a book dedicated solely to women and networking made me a sexist. He said I was ushering in the New Girls Network that kept men out. He went on to say that we all, men and women need to move forward and network with one another. I agreed with that. My question is, when did I say men and women can’t network together? Look at my own network and you’ll find men and women from all races, countries, industries, stations in life and career, etc. As long as a person can be comfortable in a mutually beneficial networking relationship, I don’t care if they are pink with polka dots from the moon. I will network with them with no hesitation or problem.

I have been very vocal about women being careful about focusing too heavily on the OBN. Yes, to some degree, it does still exist. But the difference is that today, in 2008, it is no longer the barrier it once was. For one, men are a lot more progressive these days and open to doing business with women. There are a lot more women in power positions than there were 20 years ago. And finally, I believe this generation of business people are moving beyond gender as long as a business idea (or relationship) makes sense. I also agree that there are instances where women do need something of their own. I mention in my book that sometimes it’s good to have a network within your own (gender, ethnicity, industry, etc). I also said not to make them your primary network.

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to a day where diversity is a given, not a mandate. I align myself with people who fit in line with my business and professional objectives. I open myself to learn about other businesses, countries, cultures, practices, etc. So for someone to call me a sexist or racist is laughable at best. This is a global society. Anyone who limits themselves to their “own” (gender, ethnicity, sorority, fraternity, economic class, etc) is doing themselves a grave disservice. So yes, while I did write a book targeted to women (gee I AM a woman…go figure), the principles in the book work from men and women and I stated this. We need to be focusing on how to work together, not looking for ways to exclude. We need to focus on building solid relationships and learning from one another. Not whining that a group is exclusive. If it’s really that exclusive, do you really want to be part of it to begin with? We all need to recognize that at times, it makes sense for people to want to congregate with people like them. But we can’t read too much into it. Recognize it for what it is and keep it moving. I mean really, I’m half black and half hispanic. Are you seriously telling me that I’m not allowed to join groups for either ethnicity without someone reading more into it than they should? Just because I’m a woman, does this mean it’s wrong for me to join a women’s group just so I don’t offend men? Seriously. As long as it isn’t an inflammatory or vindictively exclusive group, I say do what you do and forget what other people think.

So there may or may not be a “New Girls Network” out there. If there is, more power to them. People, let’s focus on real issues and stop trying to make something out of nothing. It’s insulting that I even have to address this in 2008.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham
International Networker

Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking

By popular demand, Go Ahead is now available online! No matter where you are in the world, you can now participate in this very important workshop.

Let’s face it, this economy is on shaky ground. As witnessed by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s powerhouse companies like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, we never know when our cushy job is in jeopardy. If your company collapsed tomorrow, what would you do? Do you have a contingency plan like starting a business? Do you have a solid network of key decision makers who could help you in landing your next opportunity? Chances are if you haven’t taken the time to build a strong network, you don’t have many allies who can help you in a pinch.

Go Ahead Talk, to Strangers, based on the book written by Adrienne Graham, gives you the foundations of becoming a fearless networker. In this session, some of what you will learn includes:

* Branding yourself

* Build, communicate with and tap into your network

* Networking with top executives and key decision makers

* Making a memorable impression on the people you meet

* Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert and an asset

* Being a fearless networker

* Navigating and tapping into traditional and social networking

* Using networking to advance your career or build your business

Don’t miss this dynamic session that prepares you to become a powerful and empowered networker. Your real networking experience begins at this seminar. Adrienne Graham gives attendees a look into her own networking journey, shares her experiences and best advice on building your own network from a position of confidence and strength, and gets the audience involved in interactive networking exercises. Graham will also read a chapter from the book.

Date: November 22, 2008

Time: 11 AM- 2 PM

Location: Online- log in information provided after payment is received.

Cost: $69

Register today:

Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Must have internet access to attend this session. Drawings will be conducted for a $25 American Express Gift Check, a copy of the book Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers, and 1 free networking coaching session with Adrienne Graham. Event will be recorded.

obama_we_didSo are you approaching life optimistically and full of hope yet? Have you made the decision I asked you to make weeks ago, to stop letting this economy get you down? Have you resolved to make this jacked up economy work for you yet?  I certainly hope so.

In order to embrace this mindset, you have to think back to the turn of the last century. Men and women HAD to make opportunities.  Especially black men and women. Needless to say, opportunities were scarce and we had to make a way out of no way.  It should still be the mantra we follow today. Depending on what part of the country you’re from, it’s possible that you have had innovation and entrepreneurship all around you. And in other parts of the country (like where I grew up- Bronx NY) you may have seen lots of people without hope or desire to go out and get what you want.  Each person is responsible for claiming their destiny and living their “American Dream”.  If I listened to statistics, I would not be here where I am today.  I would be on welfare somewhere living in the project with 4-5 kids, no education to speak of and living off the government.  But I’m not.  I have two businesses and a lovely home of my own.  And I only have ONE kid. :)

How did we lose that spark of becoming incidental entrepreneurs?  When exactly did this happen? I don’t know every black woman in the country so I can’t speak to stats and numbers. But of the people I do know, more contend they are happy to be employees and receive a steady paycheck each week than to strike out on their own to create their own opportunities.  This is fine for some people. We all have that option. But it makes me question where that drive of our ancestors went.  What happened to the times of turning a special skill into a business?  What about our unprecedented access to technology and the internet? If anything, it should be easier today to start a business than it was back in the beginning of the last century.

But that’s neither here nor there. My point is that I want you to get out and do something.  You cannot fix the economy. But you can control how you react to it. Don’t be satisfied to just accept any job for the sake of a paycheck. Find out what your passion is and work on doing it. If you’re comfortable being a “worker bee” as one of my friends put it, that’s fine. But don’t feel you are stuck there.  There are plenty of opportunities for people who work for them and go for them.  If you’re worried about money, do something on the side. Essence Magazine has an ongoing column about “Side Hustles”. While I hate that name, it is appropriate. Get a side gig or start a part time side venture for yourself to make up the difference.  Who knows, this could ultimately prepare you for a full time business venture in the future.  But in order to find out if it’s something you would like to do later on, at least try it.

Know your limitations, but don’t let them hinder or scare you. What did I say earlier? We are notorious for making a way out of no way.  Focus on strengthening your limitations and seek guidance when necessary.  That doesn’t make you a weak person.  It’s part of the game.  All of the greats have hired people smarter than they are or more skilled in an area they are not.  By focusing on strengthening your limitations, you put yourself in a position to excel. Don’t let pride stand in your way. This applies whether you are running a business or building your career.  Seek out what you don’t know and work on your weaknesses.

Stop letting the gloom and doom of the media frighten you. Yes, we are going through some tight times, but we are far from the depression of the 1920′s. It’s all in your perspective of things. You can choose to hide and be scared, or you can use this as an opportunity to do things you’ve always wanted to do to better yourself. We all hit stumbling blocks every now and then. But it’s not those blocks that define us.  It’s how you get up and deal with the aftermath that matters.  I’m a survivor. I’m a fighter. I’m an innovator. I refuse to succumb to this “crisis”. That keeps me sane in a period of insanity. But remember, it’s not enough to just say the words. You have to believe them and take actions that are in line with the thoughts. There are opportunities all around you.  Just open your eyes and ears, and you’ll find them.

Good luck to us all. In the words of our new President, “Yes We Can“.  In the words of Adrienne Graham, “Yes We Did“.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

My sisters, my sisters.

OK, I watched the news this evening and they showed the young lady in this video in court today.  Can I say I was beyond pissed and saddened by this.

Apparently this happened a little while back.  I’m in Atlanta but never heard of this before today.  According to the news, this young lady harrassed an elderly woman on the train. I’ll get into that in a minute.  What really infuriated me is the fact that a) someone taped this nonsense, and b) NOBODY said or did anything.  I try so hard to be positive about our younger generation but they sometimes make it so damn hard.  The mother of this young woman said she is bi-polar.  SO WHAT!  Bi-polar.  So is that what we’re using as excuses these days?

It’s bad enough that sisters, Black Women are portrayed in such negative and disgusting light.  But it makes it worse when we put ourselves smack dead in the middle of the spotlight.  When are we going to start talking to our sisters and guide them and make them realize they need to respect themselves and others?  When are we going to shake some sense into these young women and help them understand that they alone can control how people perceive them, so they need to step their game up?  When are we going to start publicly denounce such behavior?

Whenever I see a young lady acting out, I try to talk to them. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t.  But I would be remiss in my duties as an Empowered Black Woman if I didn’t step up.  We set the tone for our younger generation.  If we keep turning a blind eye to this nonsense and keep quiet while crap like I Love New York and Flavor of Love and the like continue to air, we are headed down a path of destruction.  My Black Women, we are better than this.  I hope to not see this crap again.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

http://www.forbes.com/executivewoman/

So a few weeks back I made a post about Forbes recently launched Forbes Life Executive Woman Magazine.  There has been mixed reaction over the magazine and a debate as to whether or not it’s even necessary.  Well I received my new issue today and let me tell you, I am pleasantly surprised.  I don’t see the new issue online just yet, but I provided the link above so you can look and judge for yourself.

The last issue didn’t sit well with be because it came across as too “girly”. I was not happy with the issue at all and felt they were slipping into Vogue mode.  Not only is this issue bigger (more pages) and has better written articles that mean something to me, there is a woman of color on the cover!  I think they heard me! :)  It seems like Forbes has listened to the complaints and are trying to up their game.  It still doesn’t have the bite that Forbes has, but it is trying.  As I said, I’ll give it a chance for the next few issues.  If they stay on this path, I predict great things for the magazine.  If you do not subscribe to Forbes, I recommend that you do so you can get the FLEW magazine.  Only Forbes subscribers receive it and it isn’t available on the news stands.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham
an Executive Power Woman

meinroomFor those of you who are mid-career or around my age (39), I have a question for you. If you were asked to write a letter to your younger self, what would you say? What advice and warnings would you give yourself? Would you hint at the future or let it be a surprise? I was asked this a few weeks back and have really been thinking about it lately. There is so much I would tell my young self. I wouldn’t reveal anything too prominent because I know that the path I have taken and the decisions I’ve made have shaped me into the woman I am today. Could I have changed some things? Probably. But all of my experiences, good and bad, have all been relevant in and pertinent to my growth. Here’s what I would say to a young me (21).

Dear Adrienne.

You are a gifted individual. I know right now it seems like you’re lost and don’t know what your path will lead to. You have a beautiful baby on the way and you need to create a legacy for him. Don’t be scared. Life is full of decisions and though some of your decisions have been wild, I love that you stick to your guns and champion what you believe in. Hold onto that because it will come in handy later on in life when you face even tougher decisions.

Don’t let a title or your current circumstances deter you from that dream you’ve always had. That little black girl from the projects of New York is destined for greatness. People sometimes don’t understand you or believe in you, but the only person that truly needs to understand you is YOU. Don’t let “no” keep you from success. Don’t let fear keep you from trying. Don’t let inexperience keep you from doing it anyway. Nothing is given in this world. You have to earn everything, and it’s up to you to dictate how people perceive you. Even though you have no solid mentors or connections, don’t despair. That can be changed over time. Get to know who you are first and understand your worth. Then find people you’d like to meet and be like. Some times all it takes is a simple conversation to get things started. The art of conversation is your gift. Use it wisely and often.

You have an incredible mind and there is no limit to what you can achieve. God has a plan for you and it’s up to you to listen and follow. Giving up is not an option for you. You have a legacy to create, lessons to learn, and some tough decisions to make. You may not realize it now, but you have such an incredible strength that will be tested many times. I can’t tell you what’s in store for you, but I can tell you that if you keep your focus, don’t give up, continue learning and use obstacles as stepping stone, phenomenal things will happen for you. You are destined to share your message with the world and I will tell you that you will some day be an important figure for women.

Be strong, keep that rebellious spirit, and always go for what you want.

Take care.

Adrienne

I had to re-read my own letter and wow. If I had someone tell me those things when I was 21, I probably would have had more confidence in myself. But then again, maybe it’s good that I didn’t. I had the chance to learn how to be confident and experience growth. Experience is the best teacher. Sure there was more that I could have said to myself, but at that point in my life, what I said is exactly what I needed back then.

So take some time and write a letter to yourself. It could be about your career, entrepreneurship, personal strength/development, or a simple pick me up. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come and the woman I’ve become. I’m sure after writing your letter to your young self, you’ll see it too.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.