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What Are You Doing on Day 51?

February 20, 2020

Thursday Thoughts, Inspiration, Wisdom for Women, Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Sports

As I trudged through knee-high snow to get to my pool house which houses my treadmill in the winter, I relish my commitment to start running again this winter after a nine-month hiatus due to a hip tear injury. Fearful to slip on ice or slushy roads and re-injure myself, I am hitting the treadmill until winter goes back asleep. The fresh air hits my face making me smile for re-establishing a habit I have loved for twenty-five years.

Although the calendar says it is the 51st day of 2020, it feels like the 1st day when I set a goal to re-engage in fitness after taking a rest to possibly give my immune system time to calm down and grow hair again after losing it all to alopecia. “Rest is what you need, Tracy,” a few of my doctors said knowing I have run half and full marathons in the past. So I listened and followed their directions adding on pounds along the way.

“Small daily positive changes, lead to large changes,” Deepak Chopra says on a healing meditation listened to before traipsing down to the pool house. My scale doesn’t seem to agree quite yet with Deepak’s philosophy but I’m determined to start running again knowing my daily fitness routine is not causing my hair loss or I’d have a full head of hair by now. Once you try something for a long enough period of time, you can move on knowing a return to normal also helps.

Today, if you are feeling like your New Year’s Resolutions, are far gone, think again. Every day you have the ability to start again, setting small daily positive changes to accomplish that big goal. Just because we haven’t been on track for the first 50 days doesn’t mean you can’t get back to where you started and try again.

Set a series of small goals with realistic dates. Establish a system to track your progress even if its two steps forward and one step back. Announce your goal and keep it close where you can see it. Sign up for an event that will inspire you to hit the goal. Then get up every day and take those small changes necessary to move down the calendar days until you arrive right where you envision yourself to be. For me, it will be running in the beautiful spring air on a nature path outside enveloped in green spring buds. It is right around the corner and so is your big goal, let’s run forward together.

Wednesday Wisdom: Curiosity vs. Passion in Entrepreneurship

February 19, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Small Business

Notorious for turning on Dave Matthews Band music when I drive anywhere, especially long distances, on a recent drive my mind didn’t need Dave’s beautiful sounds but rather wisdom from a feminine voice. Searching quickly through my iPod, I landed on one of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcasts featuring Elizabeth Gilbert, a New York Times best-selling author of Eat Pray Love. Liz, as she called herself over the airwaves, was sharing a public speaking engagement about passion that turned into a depressing experience for one attendee who posted a long letter on Liz’s Facebook wall.

Although Liz had been living her self-identified passion for years as a writer and author, trying to inspire everyone else to identify their one true calling, the attendee shared how she couldn’t identify a passion and felt hopeless after thinking everyone, including Liz, could and carried on their destiny every day. The critique made Liz pause, creating a reflective glance inward to evaluate if other people she loved and admired were successful because they chose only one passion to pursue in life.

Liz contemplated the life of her best friend and husband, both of whom did not have one passion they pursued; instead, they were like hummingbirds flitting in and out of new vistas, surroundings, and flowers that called their attention at the moment. Every dip, dive, and turn in their course led them to new, unique discoveries that colored their world in new depth and width opening the door to new experiences. Some “human hummingbirds” she knew actually found their true calling towards the end of their life journey after taking the roads less traveled.

Realizing she was wrong to motivate people to recognize the “one” thing that drove them forward in life, Liz now inspires others to be curious, taking the pressure out of not knowing what moves them instead of suggesting people add curiosity to their journey to enlighten their path. This made me think of women entrepreneurs some who start businesses built on a long time deep passion while others take the curious route dipping in and out of entrepreneurial experiences like hummingbirds gathering delicious nectar as they travel.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom might make you analyze your own perspective on passion and curiosity as it relates to yourself as an entrepreneur. Are you more like Liz, someone focused on making the world a better place because of one strong passion or like a hummingbird where diverse experiences have opened more vistas for you in business life? There isn’t a right or wrong answer, just a unique perspective to view your own world.

I hope as this winter month winds down and a greener view comes into sight, perhaps even filled with hummingbirds, you stop to appreciate the type of woman entrepreneur you are and be content with your personal journey.

NOTE: I loved becoming a first-time author in 2019 with my book “Under the Rose-Colored Hat” – it is an inspirational story on kindness, love, and acceptance.

Wednesday Wisdom: For the Love of Clients

February 12, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business

With Valentine’s Day approaching this week, I wanted to make sure women entrepreneurs remembered to share their expression of “love” with their clients and customers.

By the middle of the 18th century, Valentine’s Day was a customary day for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. Handwritten notes and sentimental thoughts were converted over time to a billion-dollar industry. According to today’s statistics, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.

As I review these statistics, I wonder how a simple idea like creating Valentine’s Day cards could translate over time to a billion-dollar industry. Is love what really fuels business success?

It’s hard to be innovative in a world of a billion business success stories. I’m sure most women entrepreneurs wish they were creating the next best concept to launch them into the ultimate success stratosphere. But original ideas are hard to come by. If you just figure we are living in the 21st century and it took 3 centuries for the Valentine’s Day card industry to become a billion-dollar enterprise, you’ll see how challenging it can be for an idea to really take hold.

So the lesson today isn’t so much about what it takes to create the next best ground-breaking concept because honestly, the fruition time for success could outlast an entrepreneur’s lifetime. The lesson is about love. Yes, love.

People love to know other people care. Customers in particular love to know their vendors care about them. In the automated, super technical world we live in, a simple gesture of affection – a card, a flower, a gift, a thank you note can have more impact on your current customer base than a new splashy ad campaign can do to attract new clients. Business is about love, isn’t it?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is meant to have you stop and think about the most important people who make your business successful. Who are they – vendors, partners, sponsors, advisors or friends? Have you taken time lately to tell them they matter? Can you find 30 minutes this week to send a few handwritten “love letters,” like they used to pen in the 18th century, to a few really important people connected with your business?

I think you’ll find as corny as it sounds, displaying love and affection in your entrepreneurial life will reap you a billion seconds of clients remembering who you are.

The Role of a Female Entrepreneur Matchmaker

February 5, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom and Inspiration for Women, Women Entrepreneurs, Females in Sports

I’ve been called many things in my career, most of them good, maybe a few of them critical, but the one the stands out best in my mind is “female entrepreneur matchmaker.” This nickname didn’t require me to don red, wear angel wings, or shoot an arrow, even though I did have cupid’s curly hair for a while, but I can see why my reputation as a matcher of women developed.

According to Google, “Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage, but the word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in business, in online video games, and in pairing organ donors.” The truth is I love women especially women entrepreneurs and matching them together for economic gains, business partnerships, sporting thrills, and equality marches. I want to be where they are.

If you were a Parks and Recreation fan, you might remember Leslie Knope inventing a way to do something American culture hadn’t traditionally been too good at doing: celebrating, in an official capacity, the joys of female friendship. Leslie set Galentine’s Day as a festival that would fall, each year, on February 13: Valentine’s Day-eve. And she decided that the festivities-though the real point of it all are simply to celebrate the platonic love that exists among lady friends.

In society, businesswomen are supposed to be serious, professional, and almost male-like in their will to achieve success. In the mid-1980s, I was one of those young women trying to climb the corporate ladder in an investment banking firm to prove myself and make good money. It wasn’t long that I realized, a male dominant work environment did not suit or inspire me. I left it and never looked back understanding being around businesswomen was where I wanted to be and eventually who I wanted to help.

If I truly was a “women matchmaker,” you might be able to identify me with an all raspberry pink outfit, rose-colored hat, a “tie” to connect women together across New York State, and a briefcase full of wisdom to share. Perhaps near me would be a bowl full of female business cards, women’s published books, sporty gals running bibs, and a huge pay equality sign to keep the money fight going. What would your “matchmaker image” look like?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you as you look forward to Valentine’s Day with your loved ones and partners you consider for a moment your gal pals – personally or professionally – who have loved you through good and bad times always having your wings and knowing your flight pattern. Jump on Leslie Knope’s fictional holiday and spend time on February 13th celebrating your girlfriends or joining me at our Syracuse Galentine’s Book Event.

As you proceed through 2020, become the best “female entrepreneur matchmaker” you can be too. Join me in a sisterhood of buying from and supporting women in business first, sitting in the stands cheering on female athletes, supporting female politicans, and sharing the mission of women supporting women period.

Happy February Galentines!

February 3, 2020

Monday Motivation, Inspiration and Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, and Females

February is the perfect month for education, inspiration, and time with your “galentines” – a name given to celebrate girlfriends on February 13th. Mid-winter means longer light in our days, more renewal time before spring arrives, and tools and inspiration to keep advancing our 2020 goals.

This month, I will be hosting a couple inspirational book events at two fantastic women’s businesses (one a coffee house and one a book shop) and an interesting program about using education to market a business (at a woman-owned catering company). The event details are on my website.

Since February is the month of love, I will be sharing a positive message on how kindness, compassion, and love for customers, vendors, associates, and the community can make you feel better and draw positiveness into your business life – which is the main theme in my book “Under the Rose-Colored Hat.”

Please share this thought with your female friends because you know the more women who gather together in economic sisterhood means, a stronger economic community for women. We need to support our galentines this month….and always. Women will change the world for other women.

Friendship, Football, and a Patrick Mahomes Fan

February 2, 2020

Inspiration for women who love football, women in sports, SuperBowl Sunday

Every Saturday my two closest friends, one living in Utah, one in Dallas, and I in Syracuse would watch specific college football games, texting back and forth on scores, misses, and congratulations on wins. Although we were 50-year-old women, we grew up school mates who played and loved sports. One of us was a Division 1 gymnast, the other a high school field hockey star, and one of us the daughter of two Physical Education teachers and coaches. We were girls and we loved our sports.

When the annual Powder Puff Football game happened at our High School, we tried out of the team. One of us was a fantastic receiver, the other a running back, and the last one a safety. We choose our numbers, practiced with coaches, and played a great game as some of our male friends dressed as cheerleaders with pom-poms on the sidelines. I remember the day like it was yesterday because it was so fun to play football which talented girls couldn’t play even if they were athletes.

When my friends and I entered middle-age, we didn’t stop loving, playing, and watching sports. I ran the Boston Marathon, one skies and golfs regularly, and the other one watched one son play college soccer and the other son Ian play football at Texas Tech. Ian was a Texas High-school football star and ended up rooming with Patrick Mahomes as well as starting with him and receiving his passes on the field as a starting receiver. This is where my interest in watching weekly college football became real!

My other friend and I didn’t have sons that played football – they were basketball and lacrosse players so we lived vicariously through Geselle’s son Ian. Watching the weekly game made me a big fan of both of them. My husband wanted me to watch our hometown Syracuse University Football and my son wanted me to watch his college’s team Boston College, but I only had an interest in watching Texas Tech from far away Syracuse, New York.

Eventually, when Patrick entered the NFL lottery, the football coach’s daughter came out of me when I told my husband a Buffalo Bills fan, and my son a New York Jets fan, their teams should draft Mahomes since they had early first-round drafts; they shrugged not believing I KNEW what I was talking about. I had been an active ‘scout’ for three years. As soon as he went to the Kansas City Chiefs, I became a Kansas City Chiefs fan so I could continue to cheer him on from afar.

Today as I watch the Superbowl, I will remind my husband and son, I was so right knowing Patrick was an excellent player way back in his early college days. I don’t own any red in the land of Syracuse orange and blue, but I will be rooting for Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes, and most likely texting with my two girlfriends like we used to do cheering him on in this the biggest game of his career. You can’t take the football out of these mid-life women – or the love of sports! Go Chiefs! Go, Patrick!

A Lesson from New York City: Women Are Still Fighting For Pay Equality

January 29, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration for Women in Business, Women Entrepreneurs, Female Athletes

The press release went like this:

Attending her fourth Women’s March, as a proponent of women’s pay equality, Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, Founder of Women TIES, serendipitously met five New York City anchorwomen who are suing the cable giant Charter Communications over age and gender discrimination.

Chamberlain Higginbotham was in front of a New York City Women’s March stage on January 18, 2020, where five women Kristen Shaughnessy, Roma Torre, Amanda Farinacci, Vivian Lee, and Jeanine Ramirez of Spectrum News NY1 were speaking. Ranging from the age of 40 to 61 years old, the women shared their professional roadblocks by their employer to replace them with younger women with less experience in the news industry. Unlike these women, their male counterparts at the station thrived and maintained their positions.

“I’m not against the young women in our organization at all, many of them have been supportive; but nobody gets younger so it isn’t fair as aging professional female reporters, we are disregarded or replaced while aging men in our industry are not,” Shaughnessy stated in a phone interview. ‘The New York 5’, as they are known, filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming Charter Communications reduced their airtime and anchoring slots, excluded them from promotional campaigns and disregarded their concerns. A June 19, 2019 article in the New York Times featuring the women states the anchorwomen felt their career trajectories were altered so they seek damages through the lawsuit.

Shaughnessy stated, “Television news is a system, like so many others, designed by men in positions of power who cannot see beyond a woman’s aging face. The double standard that allows male anchors and reporters to go grey with gravitas while sidelining its veteran women has to stop.”

Chamberlain Higginbotham provided testimony to the New York State Labor Commissioner in 2017 about the need for a pay equality law for women and has represented women in the #MeToo movement after a sexual harassment incident in the workplace in her early 20s in Philadelphia. “I immediately bonded with Kristen and her co-anchors about their plight in the workplace and wanted to share their story in Central and Upstate New York because gender and pay discrimination still exists for women of all ages,” Chamberlain Higginbotham explains.

Shaughnessy further stated, “We have to keep this story alive because change won’t happen for us or other women unless we do.” By the reaction of the crowds at the 2020 Women’s March, The New York 5’s story won’t diminish as long as they and other women keep sharing their personal experiences about pay and gender discrimination so one day women can achieve justice in the workplace.

NY5 Photo by Jeenah Moon The New York Times

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to motivate you to ensure you receive pay equal to male industry counterparts, to stand up for pay equality, and women’s rights. Learn how to do a press release like the one above so you can also promote your company too. As Women’s History Month approaches, get involved with something that turns your heart even pinker than it is now.

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