Hello, hello! As you can probably imagine I am just giddy about my new website launch. After much blood, sweat, tears, prayer, false starts, hard work, and yes sometimes cussing, the official website for the Fearless Woman Magazine is now live! I have waited so long for this and have encountered so many obstacles along the way. I even considered quitting….yes, the “Q” word because I had a few people tell me I would not be able to get it done. But I’m here to tell you that not only am I still standing, I have a real live functional website to show for it.

Now I know a few sour heads are going to say “hey the site is up but what about the magazine itself?”. It’s a great question…and I have a great answer. As you may already know, Empower Me! is hosting the Fearless Woman Summit at the Georgia International Convention Center June 16-17 right here in Atlanta. Originally, I was planning to do a simple launch party to announce the magazine to the world. But my team has taken over and transformed this event into the must attend professional development event of the year, in addition to a kick ass launch party! So the soft launch or unofficial launch of the physical magazine will be June 16 and it will be revealed to the attendees of the Summit and Empower Me! members (they of course get their subscriptions for free with their membership). Everyone who attends the event will get an advanced copy and will be able to help us celebrate the launch. I am so excited I can barely contain myself. For the rest of the world, the official launch is July 1st.

Our first issue is focused on Diversity from Her Perspective and we have a stellar line up of articles that make you think, reflect, and take action. The magazine will motivate you to live your best professional life…fearlessly! From Dr. Ella Edmondson Bell to Barbara Corcoran to Audrey Lee, to Sarah Evans, to Aliza Sherman, we have some phenomenal ladies who share the distinction of being in our debut issue. I can’t wait for you to read it! Trust me, the website has NOTHING on the actual issue!

In the mean time, we want you to feel like the magazine’s website is your community. We have a top notch roster of Contributing Bloggers who will share their wisdom, encouragement and expertise each week. You can catch snippets of our videos, listen to Views From the Top Radio Show, join our Facebook Fan Page, and even follow us on Twitter. You will even be able to catch previews of our shows in the brand new EmpoweredWoman.tv. Soon, you will have the capability to translate the site into your chosen language!

Be sure you bookmark and share the website with all your friends, family and co-workers. If you’re a man, be sure to send your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, female colleagues over to the website. I guarantee it’ll be the best thing they can do for themselves in the name of professional development.

Please stop by and let me know what you think.
Til Next Time.

Adrienne Graham
PUBLISHER
Fearless Woman Magazine (an Empower Me! Corporation publication)

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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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Yesterday I posted an article from ForbesWoman.com on my member forums that came about because of a discussion on their Linked In Group message forum. Good to see there’s dialog going on SOMEWHERE! But I digress. 🙂

It really got me thinking. This discussion couldn’t have come along at a better time. I have long been an advocate of owning and valuing your worth and setting rates (or commanding a salary) that you are worthy of. As I read the discussions, even though I was comfortable about my decisions in changing my rates, monetizing some aspects of my businesses and restructuring the way I had been monetizing other areas of my businesses, I became more convinced that I did the absolute right thing. As you already know, I have stepped out of the recruiting world and decided to go full speed ahead and turn Empower Me into it’s own real live, sustainable, breathing business entity. I’ve been praised by many, chastized by a few. But in the end all decisions rest with me.

Here’s the deal. I’m going to break this down so that it makes you take a look at not what I’m doing, but how you should be viewing your own life/business/career.  Here are the business tenants I live by:

* When you’re in a business, you’re in it to make money and be profitable. You’re not in it for hobby or to pass the time of day. Once you throw up your shingle, it is your responsibility to generate revenue to sustain the business.

* Nonprofits have their place. But even they have some for profit activities, otherwise how would they survive? On goodwill, faith and prayer? Yes that is a small portion of it.  But rent, utilities etc. have to be paid somehow. Where is this money supposed to come from?

* Nobody is supposed to remain at the same salary level year after year after year. Times change, costs of living change, people change. I’ve never encountered anyone who has refused a raise. As your skills improve and your knowledge base grows, you are worth more. It’s only right that you ASK for it (in some cases demand it). Are you going to stay at the same salary through the life of your career? I should hope not.

* Charge for your VALUE. If you have nothing to offer, or if you offer crap, people will know it. Figure out what you do best and make that your specialty…and charge a premium for it. (Admittedly, I still struggle with this one sometimes). Don’t let people dictate what you can charge. You and you alone know what your worth is and what your financial goal is.

* When people want to complain about what you charge, release them. They’re not your core customer base. Why waste time and energy on trying to change you to fit what they want. People come to or hire you for a specific purpose. When they really want that, they will pay for it. Period.

Some of these may seem a bit harsh, but you know what? We live in a harsh reality. Women are the main culprits who don’t honor themselves by asking for what they are really worth. We let ourselves be used, force to give stuff away for free (through guilt or tug on the heartstrings….”my sista”, “my family” “woman to woman” can you hook me up? You owe me.) Say WHAT!!?? Yes, I’ve heard this. If free stuff was the best stuff, there wouldn’t be paid stuff that’s worth more than free stuff. I don’t think you heard me. Who wants what you can get freely everywhere? Not me. Some things I am willing to pay a premium for. While I’d LOVE free Coach bags, I know that if it came free or cheap, it’s probably a knock off of the original thing. I see myself, my skills and knowledge as a Coach Bag. I’m trying to give that type of service, not knock off service that doesn’t fulfill my clients.

I had a client (maybe she’ll read this, maybe not…I won’t mention names) who was so unsure of her rates. She felt “obligated” to remain low priced to accommodate the needs of the people in the community. But guess what? Upon further exploration, I found out those same people were NOT paying her to begin with! They would bargain her down, guilt her into discounts and make her feel bad about losing business if she raised her rates. I told her cut them off. Raise those rates to what was at least competitive. She has children, and bills to pay. Why should she live in poverty and risk messing up her credit and financial standing just to keep a few customers happy who weren’t paying her to begin with! That is insanity!  I told her to start looking for a better class (yes I said class) of clients.

Let’s look at it from a corporate perspective. Say you’re used to making $80K per year that allows you to comfortably pay your bills, save and invest, and take care of your family. A hot company comes by and they seem to be the right fit for you. You can grow your career with them, you can learn a lot by working with some extraordinary people. So you sit down to negotiate a compensation package. They offer you $40K. Yes, I can imagine the look on your face. Wait that’s not all. They go on to tell you that you should be grateful they are offering you an opportunity to work with a fantastic company AND that you’re capped at $40K per year. No increases, no raises, no bonus. How does that make you feel? Would you work for them?

And that ladies, is it in a nutshell. If you know your value and your worth, you don’t accept anything less, and you especially don’t let other people dictate what you’re supposed to make.  So why in the world would you ask ANYONE to give you anything for free or ask for the “hook up”?  It’s human nature to want to get the maximum for the minimum. I can’t lie. There are times I just don’t want to pay for stuff. But I know I have to, and I do. I don’t want what everyone else has access to. It makes it less valuable to me. I want what’s premium. I prefer Breyers over store brand ice cream…more money, but better quality. I want the Coach bag instead of the off brand look alike. More money, but better quality.  You should be viewing your own business and career in the same vein.

So, stop holding yourself back from earning what you’re worth! That’s an order. And further more, stop trying to hold other people back. Respect their abilities and pay what they’re worth.

Adrienne Graham

radioiconIt doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Sometimes women feel they have so much more to prove than men, that they keep every task, project, or issue to themselves. This can lead to destruction if you’re not careful. Ladies, you can be a leader and still delegate critical tasks to others, while maintaining control. There’s no rule that says in order to be successful you HAVE to do it all. Join me as my guests and I discuss how women in top positions handle leadership and delegating. We will be discussing how to learn how to delegate in order to lead effectively, the pitfalls of not delegating, hiring the right people and deciding what should be delegated, and how to create an environment where people will gladly follow your lead because they believe in your vision and mission. Tune in live at 9AM EST at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/viewsfromthetop and join the conversation in the chat room. Call in with questions or comments at (347) 215-9362.

CB101642There is an ongoing “debate” as to whether or not women can successfully manage a career AND a family. Both are equally demanding aspects of women’s lives that they want to manage successfully. Some say women shouldn’t sacrifice their family, specifically their children, to be successful in business. Others say women should go for their dreams and be successful in business to give a good example to their children, specifically their daughters. It isn’t a black and white issue. Today’s upwardly mobile professional woman has her eye on her family and the prize and aren’t settling for one over the other. They learn to make it work without sacrificing quality in either area. My panelists say you CAN have both. Join me and my guests as we discuss the ins and outs of managing a successful career AND raising a healthy family…without losing your mind!

Listen in live tomorrow, Monday 9/28 at 9AM EST. If you can’t catch it live, listen to the podcast or visit iTunes to download. Join our chat room during the show to ask questions or give your opinion. Or call in at (347) 215-9362. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/viewsfromthetop

24036871I’m back! This time talking about Transitions. Getting a promotion to a manager or supervisor role is a sweet deal. Or is it? With a higher position comes much responsibility, and of course some resentment. It can be a delicate time easing into a new leadership role and keeping office relationships (almost) at the same levels. People view you in a different light. Some may feel that your new position elevates you above the “regular folks” and believe that they can’t trust in you because you’re the “boss lady”. Some may even believe that you catapulted yourself above everyone else and no longer care about the plight of the little people, even though this may not be true. In any case, there are best practices to managing the transition.

Tune in tomorrow morning to listen to our guest panelists as they talk about their own experiences in dealing with the transition from team member to manager and tips on best practices for managing relationships within a new dynamic. They also discuss stepping into a leadership and management role with a team of all or mostly men! Feel free to call in with questions or comments. (347) 215-9362.

You can listen online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/viewsfromthetop or catch the podcast at iTunes if you miss it live.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

23291063Social networking shouldn’t be your sole source of networking. You must use it as PART of a bigger strategy. Didn’t know that? Maybe you should register for my BOOT CAMP. Your Networking strategy should include SMART social networking, self branding (keeping a consistent message across all social media and traditional networking avenues), making connections (phone AND face to face) and FOLLOW THROUGH. You have to follow through. Otherwise how will people remember you?

Remember, social networking sites are just TOOLS. They are technological means to facilitate the connections quicker. Don’t rely on them as a crutch in building your network. You still have to put in time to cultivate and build relationships- and that requires a personalized touch. Not sure how? Ask for help, attend the BOOT CAMP or get a networking coach! http://www.empowermeseminars.com Or, you can simply buy the book.

Any questions?

Go forth and build your power circle of influence.

Til next time,

Adrienne Graham