January 2010


Last week I was humbly honored by being included in and article written by Ms. A. Michelle Blakeley of Simplicity Inc9 Social Networking Sites for Women Entrepreneurs“. It has gotten so much buzz that I wanted to give you all a chance to read it for yourself. I share the stage with some great groups. However, you know there will always be someone who has something to say. While I’ve seen a majority of great comments and feedback, and a few people who challenge for these groups to stretch the norms, I’ve seen a tiny bit of negative feedback. To them I say, quite simply, BITE ME. LOL Look, there will always be a few who have issues with something. You can’t please everyone. I think Michelle did a great job. Plus she’s experienced these groups, so it’s not like she just went web surfing and decided to write about the first 9 that popped up.

I’m posting the article below. But before I do, I would like to clarify something. I reached out to a blogger this morning who challenged why these groups only focus on one kind of women. On first sight, I thought either my copy on my website was unclear (about the goals, vision and purpose of Empower Me) or maybe she hadn’t been to the site. Well, I called her (yes, on the phone) to introduce myself and we chatted. She said that there was something different about Empower Me that stood out from the rest. So for anyone out there that is under the impression that Empower Me is for Women Entrepreneurs only, or one race of women, but it’s not. Our target is the upwardly mobile professional woman, and that includes entrepreneurs, long time business owners, professionals (ie: CPA, attorney, physician, etc) and corporate professionals. It’s about women coming together to help one anther take their business & professional lives to higher levels. It’s not “business as usual” with the mixers and same old same old. Trust me when I say, there is so much more to come. Tune in to our show, the website, and this blog, to see what’s to come. Trust me, a lot of people are NOT ready for what’s to come.

Now, without further adieu, here’s Michelle’s article. Thank you Michelle, YOU rock!

http://amichelleblakeley.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/womensocialnetworks/

9 Powerful Social Networking Sites for Women Entrepreneurs

In Business Development and Infrastructure on January 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

What is the real power behind women entrepreneurs? A study by the Center for Women’s Business Research shows that women now own 40 percent of private firms, women-owned businesses generate about $3 trillion in revenue and employ 16 percent of the workforce; making them significant players in the national economy. In addition, the study found that 85 percent of women surveyed do not believe being a woman is detrimental to their business success, and 32 percent believe being a woman is beneficial.

There is power in being a woman entrepreneur. There is even more power in the collaborations that are formed among women business owners. Whether your product or service is exclusively for women or not, you simply cannot deny the intrinsic inclination to support each other and champion each other’s cause. Why not use that to our advantage? The real power in women entrepreneurs lies in our ability to connect, support and encourage each other straight to the top!

Below are 9 powerful social networking sites for women entrepreneurs. CAUTION: Your business could increase and expand if used wisely.

1. Empower Me! – From blogs to websites to networks and everything in between, there is something for every woman. @talentdiva

2. Diversity Woman – Executive network for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds.

3. International Black Women’s Collaborative – The perfect platform for creating new personal and business connections. Live Local and Think Global!

4. Ladies Who Launch – Find information on successful women entrepreneurs as well as resources for women. Ladies Who Launch is an online and offline social network that provides opportunities for women to move their businesses and personal goals forward. @ladieswholaunch

5. Minority Women on the Rise – profiles successful women entrepreneurs from coast to coast, who are successfully running thriving businesses. @sylviabrowder

6. Pink Magazine – PINK represents more than a color. It´s a badge of honor celebrating a global mission of equity and opportunity – a movement acknowledging all that women are today and will be tomorrow.

7. Savor the Success – is a social network that connects entrepreneurial, professional, and creative women while helping to build big dreams in a real way @savorthesuccess

8. Women Owned – information, tools, networking opportunities and advice that has helped hundreds of thousands of women. Women just like you – starting or growing their business.

9. Women’s Peer Network – Only join if you want to improve your business contacts. @thebizwoman

Remember, use these networks to help develop your personal support team, strong collaborations and collective influence. Connect with the appropriate people, your ideal potential clients, those who serve your ideal potential clients, decision makers and be sure to make a few friends!

Be mindful of the time you spend networking. Have a purpose, listen twice as much as you speak and give until your heart is content. Girl Power!

Do you know of more sites? Please add them to the comments.

A.Michelle Blakeley is the Founder and CEO of Simplicity, Inc.; a progressive small business development firm. She manages her clients’ business expectations and prevents information overload via Micro Business Therapy™ and Micro Business Action Plans. She is featured in Forbes.com as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter and the host of Simple Truths: Intelligent. Insightful. Informed. on BlogTalkRadio.com.

No matter what anyone tells you, YOU and YOU alone are accountable for your actions, career, life. I run into women who make any kind of excuse and blame everybody but the right body for the state of their lives. It’s always easier to place blame when you have someone or some thing to place it on. I’m a generous listener, but I’ve go to tell you, I have no patience or time for whiners. Especially whiners who insist on ignoring their own role in their unhappiness.

I’ve been shouting to the rooftops that 2010 is a year of reinvention and upgrade. Now I’ll bring out the old sayings: “If you don’t like the situation you’re in, change the situation” “If you don’t like the people you’re around, change the people around you” and my favorite “God gives you the tools and the resources, but it’s up to YOU to use them”. I can’t tell you how many times in a month I have to utter one or more of these phrases. I’m all about empowerment and professional development for women, so it’s gets uncomfortable for me to listen to whining. Even if I can see objectively from the outside and recommend solutions, some people will still hold on to being miserable. Now here’s where people will sy to me “have some compassion”. I will not. Not for someone who doesn’t want to make an effort to change things. I can’t in good consciousness allow someone to pour their heart out to me and walk away determined to NOT take any steps to improve. I’m not wired that way. Instead of bitching about what’s WRONG, how about you start focusing on what’s right, then create a game plan on how to improve your situation.

This year I will not be understanding. It is my mission to EMPOWER women and tell them the truth, straight with no chaser. I’m not in the coddling business. I will let people talk about their issues. But then you had better be ready to find real solutions and make a real commitment to improving things. If I come back in six months and you’re still complaining about the same things, I’ll know you have no desire to do better. We all have the capability, no matter what our background, race, gender, religious beliefs, etc to succeed. The difference between the winners and the losers of the world is the winners don’t settle. Are you a winner or loser? Make sure when you feel compelled to complain about what you don’t have, can’t do or won’t get, be sure you point that finger at yourself. Then work on figuring out the solution.

None of us are in a position to complain about anything. Look at the devastation that the Haitian people have had to endure. Yet many are remaining hopeful and focused on prayer. So what you couldn’t get that raise. People in Haiti can’t get food and medical help. But they’re going to persevere. What are you willing to do to improve your situation? It cold be something as complex as returning to school or training to improve your skills, or something as simple as changing your attitude. In my conversation with Barbara Corcoran last week she said the most profound thing. “Nobody has to give a damn about you”. Truer words have never been spoken.
You’ve got to stand up for yourself and make conscious decisions for your professional development.

So my friends, the next time you feel compelled to complain about your circumstances, please stop and take a look yourself and think about the ways you are responsible for them and what you can do to change them.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

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Hello 2010! I am kicking ass and taking names! Well, maybe not in the literal sense. LOL I am so excited. January 1st ushered in a brand new journey for me. I know most people don’t believe in “do overs” but I am one who does. Each year we are all given the same amount of time (hours, days, weeks, months). It’s up to us to make the most of that time. Some of us use it wisely, some of us squander it. But each year, at the stroke of midnight, January 1st, we all get a chance to do it all again. Each year I refuse to make resolutions. We all know that many of us end up not sticking to them anyway, so what’s the point? I choose instead to make goals. Each December 31st I sit and reflect on the year that was. I look back and see what goals I hit and which ones I missed. The ones I missed, I just move them forward. It makes no sense to dwell on what I didn’t do because I get a chance to make it happen all over again this year. And so do you.

2010 is indeed a great year waiting to happen for me. As you already know, I have several things in the works that will soon be launched for the world to see. The new magazine, internet TV channel, the institute, and a series of books and programs that are designed to help women live their best professional life. It wasn’t easy to pull all of that together! Let me tell you, I had to dig down deep within me to bring out the best information and knowledge that would help business and career women. It wasn’t as simple as me throwing a few things down on paper or recording a few “right sounding” sound bites. I had to dig deep into my own experiences over the years, heck even current experiences, to bring the kind of content and ideas that I know will help you all (or at least most of you). It wasn’t about ego or status or showing how smart I am. it was about thinking back to when I had no where to turn for advice. It was pre-internet when I couldn’t just “Google it”. So I do hope you find the education and services helpful and inspiring.

But that’s not all 2010 is about. I’ve spent the last year or so really getting to know me…the good, the bad, and the ugly. And you know, I love what I’ve discovered. So many people work so hard to put on a persona, brand or image that they aren’t to their core. Of the things I learned about myself is that I am so much stronger than I could ever have known. I made it through a hellified decade. It had some great ups and some really hard downs. Those hard downs contributed to making me the woman I am today. One thing I learned about myself is I have a low tolerance for bullshit and phoniness. I am who I am and can’t (rather, won’t) be anything else. With social media stronger than ever it’s easy for people to lose themselves or hire others who speak on their behalf. I’m noticing celebrities and other busy people are doing it. That bothers me. I’m all about the WYSIWYG theory (what you see is what you get). I speak my own words, I tweet my own messages, I post my own posts. People will either accept me or not.

There’s been a lot of talk about truth and realism and authenticity. I can’t speak for others, but I plan to keep it as real, truthful and authentic as I can. And that is going to include me speaking my mind. Some people won’t like what I have to say, but you know the old saying “the truth hurts”. I am 40. I don’t have time to sugar coat and beat around the bush. I don’t have time to get caught up in gossip, speculation or mean spirited conversations. I simply don’t care enough about trivial issues. More than a few people got left behind in 2009 because of that. If you’re not about positivity, you can’t be in my circle. Period. And if you find yourself having to talk negatively about others, stop and take a look in the mirror. You may not like what you see. That negativity may just be a reflection of what’s going on within. Make the decision. Are you being constructively truthful or hatefully negative? There’s a difference, but a very fine line.

Today I am even more driven than before. I see the opportunities in front of me and I’d be a fool to pass them by. I want to push the envelope and do things that will edge me out of my comfort zone. I want to experience things and try things that will allow me to develop personally and professionally. I’m not afraid to try. I think that’s where some people fall short. They get so caught up in fitting in and the status quo that they don’t challenge themselves to break out of mediocrity. Life is more than a weekly paycheck. There is no such thing as job security any more. So why put limitations on yourself? I want to try things even if there’s a possibility I might fail. If I fail, I’ll simply learn the lesson I was meant to learn and keep it moving. I am no longer afraid. There’s a reason my new magazine is called Fearless Woman Magazine and my book is about Fearless Networking. I don’t want to spend my life wondering what could have been. Instead I choose to LIVE life.

So now that we are into 2010 focus on the positive things in life. The negative should only serve to make you stronger, not defeat you. Don’t get stuck in mediocrity. Use this year to try new things and improve the areas you need to improve. Live life without the breaks on. Amazing things happen when you do that!

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Well here we are! Officially closing out 2009. What a decade, what a year! I struggled to come up with an appropriate post tonight. I don’t like dwelling on the negative, but we have had a lot of negativity this year. I prefer to end on a positive note.

I often speak of losing my Dad in 2002. What I choose to take away from that is that I am stronger than I thought I was. It set me on the path to accomplish the things I have this last few years. In 2009 I turned 40. I can honestly say that coming into 2009, I was a little scared of turning 40. But something clicked in me that made me jump straight into overdrive. I made the hard decision to put my recruiting business on the back burner and focus full steam ahead on Empower Me. when I hit the big 4-0 in April I had some things I had to face. My son was leaving and heading to college. I was not happy with my current business. I lost my spark. How would I fix that?

Well, I started by meeting with my friend and Editorial Director and telling her I wanted to start a magazine. We put that in motion, then I started my radio show Views From the Top. I already had my Empower Me Networks, but I had to reinvent & upgrade that to fit the new agenda. Then I decided to work on launching my own Internet TV Channel! Was I insane? People thought I was. Pouring my all into a business that was not very profitable. But listen, I wrote a book, hosted my own radio show, started a magazine, aligned myself with influential people. Why WOULDN’T it work?

As I look back I have no regret. I am busting at the seams with pride over all I’ve accomplished. I’ve found my passion and my rhythm. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My message in all of that is you need to define your path. Don’t stay stuck in something you have no passion for. We live in extraordinary times. Technology and passion can be an awesome thing if you apply them. Don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t”. Whatever you’re sitting on the fence about, go into 2010 with a renewed vigor and passion, and go for it.  It may require that you reinvent and upgrade yourself, the people in your life, and your surroundings. But let me tell you, it is well worth it.

So I don’t leave 2009 with regret or sorrow about the bad year that was. I leave it full of hope and determination. I look forward to 2010 and the next decade. I’m strapping in for the ride. I’m going for it! I hope you will too.

Wishing you a blessed, prosperous, successful, wealthy, healthy, Happy New Year!!!

Adrienne Graham
Publisher, Author, Radio Show Hostess, Power Brok(H)er, Producer, Media Mogul!

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