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Wednesday Wisdom: “National Day” Marketing Tip

March 22, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Marketing Tip for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Business Owners

You might have missed it but yesterday was National Poetry Day. A photo of Amanda Gorman delivering her inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb” during the Biden-Harris grabbed my attention as the photo was used to highlight the day. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization founded the day in 1999. It reminded me that my first ever published work was a poem printed in a national publication when I was in middle school.

Amanda Gorman

I am pleased to report today is “National Goof Off Day”, “World Cloud Security Day,” “Bavarian Crepes Day,” and “As Young as You Feel Day,” to name a few. The list is longer than these four holidays which has me thinking from a marketing perspective, what national days resonate with my business mission, demographic, colors, or purpose to use for marketing Women TIES?

Waiting for true spring to arrive can take a while so what is a smart woman entrepreneur to do in the meantime? Well, I say on a day like today you go to and start listing what correlates with your business and make a simple marketing plan to use this information to announce different parts of your business the rest of the year.

We don’t always have to invent the wheel or a new national day to be a brilliant marketer, we can use the wheels that are already created and hop on board using them to advertise and promote ourselves and our companies. Not only are national days strange – like my birthday November 7 being “National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day” (now you know what to buy me) – but fun and perhaps clever pitches to garner media attention.

This Wednesday Wisdom is to encourage you to visit and look up some unique dates related to your company like the day it was started, a theme or product related to your company, or the population you serve, and create a 4-6 week out marketing plan to promote your business to the marketplace. This is a fun exercise to try as we wait for the snow to melt and the flowers to bloom.

I, for one, am going to look for National Women Rule Day, and see what I can find out. If it doesn’t exist, maybe I’ll make it happen. A feminist can dream, can’t she?

Women TIES “Women Rule” Event

Monday Motivation: Trial Runs

March 20, 2023

Monday Motivation, Monday Mood, Inspiration, Motivation for Women

The weekend long runs leading up to the Boston Marathon were trial periods as well as training runs for me.  It’s impossible to think you can do something physically, like running a marathon, by just thinking you can; instead you need to prove to yourself you can.

It isn’t so different in entrepreneurship when the idea to start a business, grow it successfully, and reap in the profits can be dreamed about, but not realized unless you test run the idea through a business plan, with advisors, and tweaking the specifics of the plan a year into running it. What we envision isn’t always what we face when we begin and try.

As I jumped on my bike in 35 degrees, cool, sunny, but very windy conditions this Saturday to test a combination biking and running sequence before next week’s first ever mini-triathlon, I knew I had to try my hardest while timing myself in 15-minute increments to see the mileage I biked and ran individually for some comparison for myself for the upcoming race. I bike. I run. I don’t bike and then run after each other, so it was a test.

Since the mini triathlon is based on timing and not distance since it was a created event by RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) to give people a taste of what a triathlon is like, I needed to put the sports back-to-back to see how my body responded. Since my pool is closed this time of year due to snow, the 15-minute swim portion will be a mystery until I get in their pool. As a long time swimmer, I know I can do it but adding a third and different sport to the other two might test me a bit but, I’m ready.

When I think back to launching my two company websites in a span of ten years, I remember needing to have the websites tested before they went live. I invited friends and business associates to “test” it out and tell me what they thought. I ended up tweaking the pages based on their experiences.

Similar to today when I only ran 1 mile in 15 minutes, I know to improve my distance for the event, I need to run more 1-milers this week to get more speed down. I wouldn’t have had that feeling if I waited until the actual event to see I needed more training in the run portion of the event.

Even though I’m not going for a medal (or am I for my age group at least?), it is still wise to put in the miles, tests, and trails to get a sense of where you stand, what you need to improve, and to help guide you the day of the event or launch. When you put in the miles, your mind knows you’ve done your best to prepare for what is ahead. It is then only up to you to do your best and succeed. Wish me luck next week!  

Wednesday Wisdom: Business Gratification Meter

March 15, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Businesses

Sometimes knowing what we don’t like to do guides us better then things we love to do.

Take the month of March for example when many of us have tax appointments and staring at the black and white expenses and revenues of another year in business glares at us. I typically need sunglasses to examine the glaring bottom line of my business, sometimes higher than I projected and sometimes not so much. Examining numbers all day, which always leads to a headache, is one reason I transferred from being an accounting major to a general business major in college.

When it comes to the yearly duties of sales, I discovered eleven years into my second company, a very sales-heavy business, that making cold calls, selling hundreds of events, obtaining sponsorship monies, and renewing thousands of memberships on a yearly basis burned me out. Sure, sales are the lifeblood of a business – especially if you are a solo entrepreneur – but instead of feeling like blood gushing through my body energizing me, it was draining me after doing so much of it. All I wanted to do was “do” what I was good at – planning events, public relations, writing, and inspiring women.

Then almost 20-years into being a business owner, I rediscovered my childhood passion of sports as losing all my hair stopped me from wanting to speak at events, but rather cover my bald head in a pink cap and get outside to breathe and accept a new me and a changing business life. Again, not wanting to speak with a wig on or dress the part of a successful business owner, in traditional terms that is, led me to set a new lifetime goal.

So what do you NOT like to do anymore – write, promote, count numbers, sales, or market constantly? By focusing on what you don’t want to do anymore opens up your future to something different. It could be adding staff to take over the tasks you don’t like or hiring another woman in business to do that work for us. Perhaps, it is moving out of a main part of your business, into a new division that excites you more and what your customers want? 

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to have you focus on what you don’t like to do and then find a solution and plan to stop doing it. Decide to move in another direction or hire someone or at least acknowledge it to yourself so you can grow into a different part of your company. We all need to stop and take inventory, not only of our supplies and financial figures, but of our gratification level, especially if we are a long time business woman running our own operation.

I hope today you focus on moving away from what you hate to do and into more of what you love to do so you have a new direction, goal, or attitude the rest of 2023.

Why I Love International Women’s Day

March 8, 2023

Inspiration for International Women’s Day

Every morning I look at my Twitter feed to find a new post from my International friend Jo Moseley. Jo and I met last year in England when we ran on the same all women team in the “Women Can Marathon” in Devon. I wanted to run overseas and only with women. Through the International Organization 261Fearless, I found 3 women to run with; each one from a different country. Tanja was from Switerland and working in the Netherlands, Jo was from Northern England and Josie was from Malta. I was the lone American teaming with “brilliant” women from other countries.

Devon, England 2018 with Tracy’s International Team of Women #261FEARLESS

To say, I was impressed with the immediate connections when we formed the team, is an understatement. I’ve supported American women entrepreneurs for 24 years and only one of my members is from overseas – Chen Zucker from Israel. In 2015, I met Kathrine Switzer who opened my world to International women including women from Australia, Iceland, Austria, New Zealand, Malaysia, England and France. I have also met fantastic women from all over America with 261 Fearless especially women in Texas, Chicago, Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts. My world filled up with wonderful, warm female connections from all over the globe making me feel like I really belonged and could bond from women from anywhere.

Katherine Switzer and Tracy Higginbotham – Boston Marathon 2017

Today on International Women’s Day, I am so happy I met Kathrine and my International running friends. I know if I go anywhere in the world to travel, I can find a friendly 261Fearless female friend to talk and run with. My life experiences before 2015 were with American women, who I still adore, but now I have a world of women relationships that make my life so much richer.

I hope today you decide to take one step forward to connect or expand your relationships and networks with women who live in different countries. The photo above is me a few years ago having dinner with new Canadian women business owners. Support women in your local, regional or state communities. Hold out a hand to women across our great nation. Fly overseas and embrace an International woman. Let’s keep becoming friends and supporters of women everywhere on the globe. Let’s fight for female justice and equality in all things, in all countries.

Team #261Fearless in Devon, England at the Women Can Marathon

Happy International Women’s Day!

Monday Motivation: Running Freely

March 6, 2023

Monday Motivation, Inspiration for Women, Women Entrepreneurs, Women Who Like Sports

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Secret3k

Do you remember the last time you weren’t free to do something you wanted?

Maybe when you were 17 years old and wanted to vote or when your older sibling could drive but you couldn’t because you were too young?

Perhaps it was years ago when as a woman you wanted your own credit card but credit companies didn’t give them to women alone, they needed a male co-signature.

Living in America, women are used to, for the most part, being able to do anything men can do. Although there are many inequalities still facing women, like pay inequality, for the most part we participate in all activities men do.  So it can be shocking to hear about situations when women globally or in even in the USA in domineering relationships were they aren’t allowed to do what they want.

It is a reason I run in the Secret3K each year to help bring awareness during International Women’s Week to promote equality. It started in 10 cities across Canada and has grown each year. The 3K raises funds for incredible groups such as 261Fearless, Girl Guides of Canada, the Marathon of Afghanistan, and Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan I ran it last year by myself but will run with 2 other women on Wednesday.  There is still time for you to join us in Syracuse or run virtually anywhere.

Eliza Fletcher from The Tennessee Star

Last year I stepped out of my house at 4:30 a.m. to run for Eliza Fletcher who was abducted and killed during her A.M. fun in Memphis, TN because women shouldn’t be afraid to run in the dark anyplace in fear of being stopped, hurt, or killed. It was easy for me to walk out my door and run freely, but not every woman can do that in their community or nation. We must keep that message alive.

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Running for Eliza at 4:30 a.m.

I hope that today’s blog post gives you something to think about, potentially run for, and keep talking about to help women everywhere gain the freedom they need to live like men, freely, doing anything they want to do. 

Happy 18th Anniversary – Surviving in Business Tips

March 3, 2023

When you envision a business, you never know what it will really look like, or how long it will exist. SBA statistics don’t favor eager entrepreneurs outlasting more than one or three years on average. There are multiple factors that make or break a business early on, as they grow, and as the marketplace changes with competition, outside forces like a Covid-19 pandemic, and technology. So, how is a enterprise to survive for close to 2-decades?

Here is my wisdom on the subject as I celebrate the 18th year of my second company and almost 30 years as woman entrepreneur:

* You must LOVE what you do. You want to get up everyday and run your business. You look forward to every new day.

* You must LOVE the people you serve. Customers are much more than numbers or revenue, they are people you have the joy of being with for as long as they are involved with you.

* Remain flexible when the marketplace changes and unexpected obstacles happen.

* Being tenacious, undaunted, and steadfast in getting through a crisis or downturn helps you rise back up in time.

* Continue education in all subjects areas related to running a solid business.

* Seek out advisors if you get in over your head and need expert advice.

* Market like you have never marketed before.

* Make PR your best friend.

* Learn to love sales and do it daily. If you don’t, your company well will dry up.

The most important key to success in business is to have people dedicated to your mission and vision, who are willing to share your business with others and excitedly drawn new people to you. Never underestimate praise, thankfulness, and even love to keep them near and dear to you and your business. It is okay to have love language as part of your mission.

I wish you many more years of success ahead. If I can ever be of service to you, please let me know. I am here to help anyone, any time I can.

Thursday Thoughts: No More Bootstrapping to Grow

March 2, 2023

Thursday Thoughts on Money, Investment, Growth for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners

I remember the tipping point clearly. The point when I decided to look into finance options to grow my company staff to keep up with business demand. I had pushed away the thought of getting a loan or credit line because I was worried about strapping myself financially. If I could just squeeze it all out on my own – the money, time, commitment – then I would make more money faster and succeed.

Little did I know that as soon as I committed to hiring my first part-time staff person, who focused on all the non-revenue producing tasks on my business’ to-do-list daily, I would be free to make more sales calls and entice sponsorship dollars to fund her position and my own. Little by little, the revenue grew, and we worked out the path to growing the company until she left for a better career position after a year.

What happened next is a common tale, I reverted back to the old ways and along with it revenue decreased, and I became comfortable again doing all the work myself, content to just keep the business at a certain growth plain. I was burnt out on sales and seemed content to spend more time with my sons who were leaving for college. It was another choice, most women entrepreneurs tend to make, choosing family over business growth. Again, not a bad choice, just a personal one, and one I never regretted. 

Could I have been a million-dollar revenue business like other women I watched grow their businesses, adding staff, and expansion offices along the way, sure I could because I had the drive, marketplace interest and reputation but in the end, I settled for a more manageable way to live my life and be a woman entrepreneur.

As yesterday marked the beginning of another Women’s History Month, the conversation on most online programs I saw were focused on pay equality and advancing women in business and careers. When it came to discussion on the obstacles facing female business owners growing their companies as fast as men, the factors discussed were:

·         Women were proud they can bootstrap their own company’s growth.

·         Women were not as well educated on the financial options to grow their business.

·         Females didn’t realize how much more they could accelerate their growth with financing

So, if you are reading this post today and are trying to grow your business or are burned out from doing too much because you can’t add staff, equipment or services due to financial constraints or bootstrapping, consider talking to your banker, the SBA or other financial programs to learn and take action.

Women won’t advance like men financially in business, unless we take some of the same steps they take to grow and accelerate.

Wednesday Wisdom: Women’s History Month Inspiration

March 1, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Women’s History Month, Inspiration for Women

According to the National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA), as recently as the 1970s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness. To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County California Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978. They choose the week of March 8th, International Women’s Day, as the focal point of the observance. The local Women’s History Week activities met with enthusiastic response.

In March 1980, President Jimmy Carter’s Message to the nation designated March 2-8,1980 as National Women’s History Week with this quote, “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

Women TIES members sharing the game of Field Hockey and Networking/Career Tips with College Females – 2022

By 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rational to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March 1987 as National Women’s History Month.

Why is Women’s History Month so important? According to NWHA, history must tell the whole story. For girls, knowing women’s achievements expands their sense of what is possible. For all of us, knowledge of women’s strengths and contributions builds respect and nourishes self-esteem — crucial to all children and adults now, and in the future.

Women TIES as guests at Governor Hochul’s Women’s Day at the NYS Fair 2022

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom, on the first day of March 2023, is to encourage you to learn more about events and programs occurring this month that you can get involved with or share to help make women’s history more well-known and talked about. Begin by visiting to learn about this year’s theme and events happening in our country. Governor Hochul will also be listing women’s history events and asked me for our events to share with their audience.

I also encourage you to share personal and business stories of women in your past that have made a difference in your life or community because this year’s 2023 theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”. Let’s share their names and stories so others know more about them.

Planning for a Better Business Year

February 28, 2023

Tuesday Thoughts and Wisdom for Female Business Owners, Women Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses

As a woman entrepreneur, the question you may ask yourself is “How can I gain an internal and aerial view of it is strong, vibrant and relevant in today’s marketplace. Here is some quick advice to help you see your company more clearly from both an external and internal standpoint.

Conduct Semi-Annual Reviews:  Twice a year a woman entrepreneur should spend a half a day or  more to do the following:

* Get quiet and list to your deep gut feeling on how your business is doing. Is it developing  the way you  envisioned it to develop? What feels right and what doesn’t.

* Write down the top ten successes and top ten areas of improvement you’ve experienced in the past six months. List what you want to continue to do and what needs to change to make you more successful.

* Contact five customers and quickly ask them for the top reason they do business with your company and something they think would improve the company. Remember their comments, keep doing what you are doing well, and make adjustments where you need to.

Take Three Women Associates to Lunch: 

In the next two months, contact three women in diverse fields who are affiliated with your company, ask them out to lunch to discuss your business. Tell them why you appreciate their opinion and why their feedback will give you a better perspective on how to develop your business. Choose women who know you in different ways, have diverse backgrounds, and who will bring constructive advice to the table. Their ‘aerial’ perspective will help you see your company from a higher ground.

Michelle Shauger, Primerica

Discuss Your Vision with a Business Advisor:

 After you have gathered information from your own perspective and others, make an appointment with a business advisor (someone from the SBDC – a government funded organization in your county that provides free business advice) to discuss core changes to your business plan to keep you on track, to make adjustments in this changing economic climate, and to enhance or change parts of your business from those customers and associate suggestions. Revisiting your business plan can help you maintain your core services and make adjustments to give your business a boost.

Don’t let this important exercise get away with you especially as a new business year begins to unfold.

Monday Motivation: Female Activism Icons to Inspire You Today

February 27, 2023

Monday Motivation for Women, Female Business Owners, Women in Sports

Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Gloria Steinem

Most days the television isn’t on until 5 p.m. when I tune into my favorite show “Around the Horn,” featuring sports writers from around the USA. Always hoping my favorite person Sarah Spain is on, I look at the faces and smile if I see she is commenting on important sport topics of the day. Always leave it to Sarah, to say something about women in sports, inequality issues, or just a female take on a story.

Sarah Spain, ESPN

Yesterday feeling under the weather after getting bronchitis from running in 32 degrees, without my inhaler, as I train for a “Try a Tri” event in thirty days, I turned down an invitation to go to “Green Beer Sunday” in Syracuse where people of all ages, nationalities and drinking abilities gather to welcome St. Patrick’s Day month arriving mid-week. I am not Irish, but I know a great time the dead of winter when I hear it.

Instead, I turned on Netflix to find Archewell’s “Live to Lead” series featuring some of my favorite female icons speaking about their lives, beliefs, how they have/are changing the world, and their hopes for the future. After listening to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Greta Thunberg, and Gloria Steinem, I realized no amount of green beer could inspire me the way these women’s words did.

Greta Thunberg

It is hard to be motivated when you are sick, but somehow these three interviews perked me up to think about where I am in my career trying to get more women to buy from women first and foremost through my business platform Women TIES. It’s been almost three decades of talking, cajoling, displaying, explaining, and motivating women to rethink where they spend their money until we get a pay equality law. My answer is always,

“Women must buy from women first and foremost, putting money in the pocketbooks, bank accounts, and Pay Pal accounts of women any time they can to help with pay inequality to help them earn more and strengthen the financial future for females.”

I’m not a bank looking for business or mad at men for getting paid more, but a passionate female moved by the monetary injustices still facing women today. From corporate offices to professional athletic playing fields to even summer job holders – teenage girls like my nieces – trying to earn the same amount of hourly pay as their boy counterparts, I want women to be the benefactors of other people’s spending until a pay equity law exists.

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham holding her sign at the Women’s March in DC in 2017

Like Gloria and Greta, I have marched for change many times. I write about and speak about this particular change. I’ve been in the media sharing my views, written articles, and blogs to shed a light on the subject. Like them, I won’t stop. It’s impossible to stop when a deep passion wakes you up, and moves you, every day.

The only question facing me know is, how much bigger can I go, what else should I be doing to make this change happen, who else must I connect with, what media outlets do I need to be noticed on, what platform is large enough to help, and who else will help me?

Women TIES Business Event in a Woman-Owned Business – “Women Supporting Women”

Meaningful work fueled by deep passion and purpose is typically not accomplished in an activist’s lifetime. It does rest. It stirs inside until action spills out in words, actions, progress, and hope. What can you do today to help me with my lifetime mission and how can I help you with yours?

Rachel McLean & Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Women’s March in Syracuse – Co-Hosted by Women TIES
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