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Wednesday Wisdom: You Have Innate Talents

June 7, 2023

Inspiration, Wednesday Morning, Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners

Have you ever heard the same compliment so many times that even if you didn’t believe it, finally you had to accept it? Has it ever occurred to you that a trait or talent you didn’t think you were born with, developed over years of either practice or use without you trying? I bet you can think of something specific.

This happened to me as a writer. I never intended to be a writer. I loved math and science. I was a logical thinker, very organized, and excelled in leadership and sports. Writing was not something I loved until I became an entrepreneur and needed writing skills to create press releases, communicate effectively with clients, form contracts, and eventually write this very newsletter to inspire women in business. I never took more than the standard writing courses in high school and college either. So, I finally determined my writing became a natural ability of mine.

“Under the Rose-Colored Hat” by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

Soon confidence in this skill led to writing a column for the Syracuse Post Standard for 11 years, which I and two other women pitched to them; and submissions to magazines and book series like Chicken Soup for the Soul, until I wrote my own book about my struggle and lessons from alopecia in 2019. “What me a writer?” I was still doubtful until I began submitting writing samples for some freelance work and have been slowly getting some business from it. Hmm, me a writer?

Sometimes in life and business, we must trust what others tell us. We must also take time to look at our past history and reconcile for ourselves that we are naturally talented in an area and then pursue it more. The degrees that hang on the walls or the awards on our bookshelves don’t always paint the complete attributes of our success, sometimes others tell us.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you to listen to consistent compliments in your area of expertise or in adjacent areas of work or duties that might be a signal to proceed more confidently in a new side direction to make money. I was never good at PR until I had to be for clients in my event planning business. What are you good at for your clients that you wouldn’t necessarily think in the beginning you were talented in? Lean into these extensions of yourself.

And if you need some pointers on writing and getting submitted into books like Chicken Soup for the Soul, join me in Rome, NY next Tuesday for a special event I’m giving to provide women with tips. You might, like me, be the next unexpected writer in your group.  your life, take a moment to celebrate that amazing feeling and then share it with others to fill them with positive emotions.

Friday Feelings: Women Try New Sports Like Rugby

May 26, 2023
The Uticuse Rugby Scrum Machine with Jae (left), Tracy (middle), Rossi (right)

As I topped the tall hill, two flat playing fields (aka “pitches”) lay ready. Approaching the one with the two yellow goalposts on either end like the YouTube video I watched to prepare myself, I saw my cousin Paige, dressed in her former rugby cleats standing near an oblong football much bigger than a regular American football. I knew I was in the right spot to try rugby for the first time.

My first impression of rugby was at college when the men’s team would crazily be dancing around an Indian statue – their mascot of some sort – in a bar on a Friday night. My feeling was they weren’t crazy, but the sport they liked playing must be crazy because that is how they identified themselves as a team when games and practice weren’t in session. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on a balmy May night on the “pitch” in Syracuse.

Like most of the team sports I’ve tried, practice started with simple passing and running drills. In the case of rugby where the ball is larger and is thrown in a unique spiral, getting my hands around it and trying it out was my first lesson. I wasn’t horrible at it since my father, a football coach, taught me how to throw a mean football spiral growing up. I could handle the throw and motion until the passing drills of running while throwing the ball in a timely order to teammates in a moving line sped up my work. And in rugby, the ball must be thrown behind or to your side, not in front, so timing is essential to get down.

Jae of Uticuse Rugby Club – Our Leader for the Night

Once the throws and simple running drills were done, we practiced running more advanced sequences of drills of passing and pocketing behind a teammate repeatedly until we hit the other side. If anyone dropped the ball, a “half-moon” exercise was given to the team. I definitely contributed to the half-moon workout which was basically a burpee plus a half-squat turn in both directions upon standing – thus the soreness in my thighs today.

After practicing the offensive drills, we turned to defensive drills learning the importance of working in a line to stop the offensive players from coming through. This is where my age and lack of quickness slowed me down. Running forward is one thing, trying to run as fast as the offensive line trying to catch up with them was another. Thank God their full-body tackling exercises were last week. When asked if anyone has gotten really hurt tackling without pads, I heard a few horror stories but not as many as you’d think. “Tracy, the old girls play just touch and not tackle,” a few of them told me. Yeah, that might be where I belong, I thought if I wanted to continue playing.

As the hazy sun started setting after two hours of a really fun time, they took me over to the “scrum machine” to give me a taste of what a scrum feels like. A scrum is a method of restarting play in rugby football that involves players packing closely together with their heads down and attempting to gain possession of the ball. With two teammates on my side, we maneuvered into the machine for the feeling and a photo opportunity. This is where I knew for sure you must have strong legs for rugby.

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham (with ball) joined the Uticuse Rugby Club to try their sport

Playing along with a team of great girls reminded me why I love all women’s communities because bonds develop quickly and you want them to linger. So, I accepted their invitation to a restaurant across the pitch for food and drinks. It’s there I learned more about a few of the players and enjoyed the casual conversation. My cousin Paige said, “This happens after all rugby games – both teams coming together afterward to share in the experience and get to know each other.”  

As I said goodbye to my rugby pals, they handed me my own rugby ball to keep for practice and invited me back anytime to play with them. I told them I would join cheering them on at a special fundraiser they host annually for a cancer patient called “Ruck Cancer,” and perhaps rejoin them for another great night of running, passing, scrumming, and bonding on and off the field.

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, Founder Women’s Athletic Network with her rugby ball

Wednesday Wisdom: Core Traits for Success

May 24, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Women in Sports

I’ve always liked to be where the action happens. Whether that was trying out to be our sixth-grade class speaker, attempting to get my all-girls slate elected for our 9th-grade class, leading as women entrepreneurship was on the rise in the early 1990s, or even sitting on the tenth hole at a major golf tournament at 6 a.m. to be the closest one to the stars. Sometimes I wonder if loving action naturally meant a career in the event field.

Since losing all my hair four years ago, which changed the trajectory of my personal and professional career due to a natural interest in not wanting to be in front of a crowd, I must admit I miss it. Could it be something so ingrained in a person for fifty years isn’t easy to put to rest? If we believe we are born with God-given talents and a unique way to change the world for the better, then it makes sense we find resistance to changing our fundamental ways of being.

Uticuse Hellbenders Rugby Team (Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham holding rugby ball)

As my energy rose all day yesterday as I prepared to learn rugby for the first time with my cousin Paige, I knew having an event to attend in the afternoon, that I created, is the reason why I was so happy. Better yet, event days mean being with other women. Yesterday’s event was being with women I have never met and wondering all day what they’d think of a 58-year-old bald chick trying their sport.

Rory McIlroy (left) and Michael Block (right) – PGA Championship 2023

By now you should recognize the name Michael Block if you watch any news -especially sporting news. Michael is an average PGA professional and golfer who works for a club in California but signed up to compete to win a spot at the PGA Championship this past weekend in Rochester. Guess what? By entering this name in the event, playing his “own game” amongst the best, he secured himself a top 15 win, the admiration of everyone watching this humble guy, and chances to play more elite golf – all because he signed up for an event, stayed in his lane, and believed something good might happen. Isn’t this what we all want?

Palm Heart Photograph by Adam Higginbotham

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to inspire you to touch base with the core of who you are, what you love to do, what you think you were born to do, and what you still want to do at a higher level and lean into it more. Humans are not meant to be static in their lives, decisions, or opportunities. We are born to dream, do, and do again whether we succeed or fail. Believe you belong trying at a higher level too and look for other women (or men) who have achieved what you hope to achieve and follow suit.

I’ll keep planning sporting and business events for women as long as they attend because I don’t think it is something I am capable of letting go of….quite yet.

Monday Motivation: The Beauty of Michael Block and Five Lessons From His Run at the PGA Championship

May 22, 2023
Oak Hill Country Club, PGA Championship 2023 by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

I am mostly inspired by women and therefore write about them 99% of the time, but 1% of the time if a man inspires me in sports or business, I can’t help but share my thoughts on them too.

Lucky to be one of thousands of people at the gorgeous grounds of Oak Hill Country Club for the PGA Championship for two days, I witnessed the pure joy of a person playing the sport they love while strangers joyfully cheered him on. He wasn’t one of the leading men projected to claim the 2023 PGA Championship, but as a golf professional, he competed against other golf teachers and won his way into the annual tournament.

Michael Block, a hardworking everyday golf pro from California, had a chance to live his dream of playing alongside the greats of today’s game by giving himself a chance to enter and win and then performing spectacularly to make the cut on Friday and land a final twosome spot with global golfing icon Rory McIlroy. Even in his wildest dreams, Michael couldn’t imagine the four-day high of playing top golf in the limelight and hearts of millions.

Image by – Rory McILroy (left) and Michael Block (right)

So, what can any of us, average human beings, perhaps slightly above average in our professions do to be like Michael Block? Here are my insights:

* You must dream to get started! You can’t begin without a dream or goal.

* You must dream larger than you believe and then take the steps necessary to approach that dream every day. In Michael’s case, playing golf with joy and practice.

* You have to take risks or you’ll get nowhere. If Michael didn’t put himself into contention to win a spot to get into the PGA Championship as a golf professional, he wouldn’t have been there. Risk is always, always the biggest part of the reward.

* Be humble, yet confident in your abilities. Michael told numerous commentators he was winning because he was playing his game, not trying to be one of the golf stars on the field. He accepted who he was, and where he was, and played the way he believed he should play for himself.

* Be grateful to people – especially strangers – who cheer for you. People aren’t as bad as the media paints them out to be. Most people cheer for other people. There is so much less contention in average day America so thank anyone who opens a door for you, gives you a compliment, or cheers for you to win in life.

So, the next time you want to achieve something big, take these lessons from Michael Block’s PGA Championship experience and apply them, and watch yourself love your life while soaring higher than imagined as well.

Wednesday Wisdom: Meeting Face-to-Face

May 17, 2023

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

Meeting in Person with a Business Friend in New York City

After traversing construction zones filled with parents visiting town for their college student’s graduation, I finally made it to a quaint coffee shop in Fayetteville to meet with one of my members. We hadn’t seen each other in person since the pandemic only via Zoom. What a lovely moment seeing and hugging her and sitting down for an iced chai tea.

An hour meeting turned into an hour-and-a-half meeting as we conversed about her business with so many ideas blooming now that Covid-19 was pretty much behind us. This 80-year-old entrepreneur was full of vim and vigor ready to continue her life work and entrepreneurial endeavors but needing some advice and feedback on her plans. She was so appreciative of my time and ideas, and I was equally grateful for being energized by a woman who doesn’t want to retire.

I know many of us have resumed our former ways of doing business prior to March 2020 but if you haven’t this inspiration today is for you. Zoom has its benefits like attending global or national events we simply can’t get to that easily. Keeping a distance if our health isn’t good, is another reason to stick to online meetings. But if you have just gotten too used to the convenience of online events, I encourage you to step out there again, and again, until you feel the warmth of another’s presence.

Technology is still an awesome way to connect to people far and away from where we work and play like keeping in touch with my running friends in different countries, but we can’t overuse it in exchange for social interaction. I noticed this when my nephew this weekend was exhilarated to attend his junior prom in person instead of skipping it like my niece had to do for hers because of Covid-19. We are on this planet to live, interact, rejoice, and revel in the company of others.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to reinvigorate your need to meet others outside your company’s or home’s four walls. It is to remind you of the enjoyment of being surrounded by people with shared interests and passions. Today is the day to agree to go to a live event with people you haven’t seen in a while. Lose the trepidation, gain a new wind under your wings, walk out the door, and do something positive for yourself to get back into your past social enjoyment.

Of course, I plan events both sporting and business, in hopes that you will choose to see me in person again. I promise to give you a hug and advice and fill your day with some good-hearted fun and friendship. You never know what meeting with me will do for you, or what you will do for me.

Wednesday Wisdom: Not in a Million Years

May 10, 2023

Wednesday Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, and Small Businesses

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham with Tom Amidon, Painter

As a Barry Manilow song serenaded my way to a special event, memories of hearing my cousin playing it on the piano flooded my mind. Unlike his older brothers, my cousin wasn’t moved by pick-up basketball, playing softball games, or doing construction. He was inspired by music, painting, and the arts like his older sister. I loved all my cousins but Tommy held a special place in my heart.

Unlike his father and brothers, he did not go to medical school to follow in the paternal profession of the males in his family but rather received a finance degree to help run his family’s real estate businesses, but his art bug wouldn’t leave him alone. Finally following his own heart, he ended up with a Master of Arts from a college in Savannah, Georgia, and began painting. His dream was to be known as a breathtaking painter of the sky.

Loving his photographs, I knew he would make it as a painter one day, but he didn’t believe in himself until this week when he was inducted into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame. He started by saying, “Never in a million years could I imagine getting this honor.” Words and thoughts most of us have when we are dreaming and chasing our own success. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way,” he said. An additional sentiment we can each claim in our own life story.

After the event was over, he showed me a beautiful yellow-hued painting someone purchased from his collection, he told me the buyer looked at his creation and said, “It speaks to me of hope so I must have it.” Isn’t it amazing that our work in most cases provides hope to others? It isn’t the reason we get into business or create what we offer, but if you think of most professions, they do offer hope of some kind.

So, today’s Wednesday Wisdom is meant to steady your course if you are wavering on whether what you do matters or if you will ever achieve your loftiest dream, just wait, be patient, keep up with your own form of “art”, and before you know it you will be saying the same thing my cousin said to me decades after he picked up a paintbrush, “I would have never guessed in a million years, I would be standing here being recognized for my work.”

Wednesday Wisdom: Be a Change Agent

May 3, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Anyone!

Global Citizen Now 2023 Photo by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

The older and wiser I get the more I realize every woman must believe they can make a difference in our world. “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift back to God,” is a framed quote on my desk that inspires me daily. Do you believe you have one or two unique contributions to make in your life?

After listening to more than 30 amazing speakers and activists at the Global Citizen Now event in Manhattan Friday, I walked away with that one thought – each of them is making a difference in their own unique way. Both collectively and collaboratively they are becoming change agents for our globe. They agree to the larger mission of saving our planet but use unique contributions to make it happen.

NY AG Letitia James James and Tamron Hall at Global Citizen Now 2023

I went up to Elizabeth Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of since she was reiterating my 30-year personal mission of getting more people to buy from women-owned companies. The difference between her and me was they are an International organization and I focus on local, regional, and state-wide connections. I told her my history and she said, “Thank you Tracy for contributing so long to this mission.”

Sometimes we don’t feel like we measure up to the successful people we see on stage, on television, or on global platforms but we do. Changing the world in our unique way is not about competition. It is about knowing what we want to do, getting up every day and doing it, and eventually working alongside others with the same mission. Nothing gets done quickly working by ourselves. We need each other to accomplish big goals.

The next time you judge yourself based on your own ego or station in life, think differently. You are more than enough to make a change in the world and across the globe if you want. Recognize your gifts, establish a strong mindset, take the steps to stay involved, and also put your hat in a larger ring. You can’t think small if you want to be a major contributor to a larger cause. Consider yourself equal and move forward.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you that, you my friend, have all the talent you need to make major contributions in your area of expertise or passion. Instead of feeling less than a star or someone with a larger marketing platform, see how you can join them in working together or watch their steps which might lead you to be more creative in your own workload.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, jump on board and start steering your ship towards the fleet of others out ahead of you or on your side. Sail forward together making the ultimate difference you want to make in this world. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Global Citizen

Monday Motivation: It’s About Progression, Not Perfection

May 1, 2023

Monday Motivation, Inspirational Ideas to Change the Globe For the Better

Ali Velshi, Moderator (right)

Although “urgent” was the word of the day, the last person I heard speak at New York City’s premier conference, Daniel Humm of Rethink Food, reminded the audience filled with global change ambassadors that “progress is more important than perfection,” when it came to action.

Katie Holmes, Global Citizen, and Actress (right)

The stunning Glasshouse venue on Manhattan’s Westside Highway overlooking the Hudson housed the most thought-provoking conference I’ve ever attended. Global Citizen Now, in its second year of existence, convened the brightest minds and leading voices across all spheres of society, from world leaders to grassroots activists, to create a powerful cross-sector collaboration to solve urgent issues facing humanity and our planet.

My wonderful guest Flo Medjdoub

Even though I saw the lineup of speakers before going, I didn’t realize the audience size would be so intimate with awe-inspiring special guests, making me wonder how I got to be so lucky to be chosen to attend. I literally had a second-row seat to these leading minds, stars, and politicians talking about their area of passion, alongside a woman I gifted my second ticket

French President Emmanuel Macron Live

I’m trying to choose the proper descriptions to paint a picture and soundtrack of all the information that was shared so passionately by thirty speakers including the President of France Emmanuel Macron who appeared live on a screen from his country sharing with the audience goals on climate change, poverty, and support of less rich countries to help them make a difference in urgent global needs. He didn’t have to be in person to understand his commitment to the event and its purpose.

Panel Moderator JuJu Chang (right)

Following his speech, a majority of the conference was made up of mini-panels of experts, stars, and leading authorities in critical issues that Global Citizen has deemed necessary to support and solve including ending poverty, climate change, women and girls equality, voting rights, eating plant-based meals, buying from woman-owned businesses, supporting a woman’s right to choose, providing menstrual supplies to women globally, how the advancement of Artificial Intelligence will affect our future and more. My mind exploded with a thought during every panel.

Political Rights Adovocate Pashtana Durrani (center)

Staying true to their word, the conference provided attendees with beautiful glass water bottles with bamboo tops to fill up with mint and cucumber-infused water, reuse, and take home to limit plastic use as well as offering delicious tasting plant-based breakfast and lunch options. The rooms were set up beautifully without too much décor and just enough artwork to line walls spreading the message of the conference.

The Glasshouse

If the goal of the event was to make every attendee an ambassador of global change so they communicate it back to their own marketing platforms and circles of influence, they succeeded.  Each day I’ve committed to posting one simple action someone following me can make to become their own global citizen. My husband and I committed to these ten household/personal actions:

* Support more female farmers
* Eat only plant-based meals one day per week for the rest of the year
* Put our water in reusable glass bottles/steel containers instead of buying plastic bottles
* Stop using plastic K-Cups for coffee and buy a one-time reusable coffee filter for our K-Cup machine
* Expand our organic garden and continue to can/bottle food from it
* Continue to compost our vegetable and fruit extras
* Buy from women-owned companies 50% of the time
* Support plant-based restaurants once a month
* Donate to an organization that supports period products for global women/girls
* Continue to share this message and motivate more people to become Global Citizens

New York State Attorney General Letitia James (left) and moderator Tamara Hall (right)

You can do your part by going to and signing up for free to get involved with them by sharing their news, issues, action plans, and more to help change our globe. The more actions you take, the more chances you have to win the rewards they offer.

Singer and Voting Rights Activist John Legend

One of the panelists Peter McGuiness, CEO of Impossible Foods (check out their website for recipes) said something that moved me, “Let me find a way to take action,” that is all it takes really. So, please take the pledge with me so we can progress our globe for a better future, maybe at times imperfectly, but with common interest and motion.

Peter McGuiness, Impossible Foods (second from right)
Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Global Citizen Now Change Ambassador

Wednesday Wisdom: Philanthropic Endeavors

April 26, 2023

Wednesday Wisdom, Wednesday Morning, Inspiration, Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners

Laurie DiProspero and Nick DiProspero – Four Walls Project

In the coolness of my garage when I was ten years old, I gathered a community of neighbors for a real treat – a play produced by my sister, one other neighborhood friend, and me. My mother had theater sets we could use so we created a play from scratch and booked ourselves as the director and stars. We knocked on neighbors’ doors asking them to attend. We created a menu of Jell-O and milk, set up chairs on the driveway, and waited for our crowd to arrive.

Pleasantly surprised we were delighted when everyone showed up and we performed our play, handing out our snacks after the big round of applause. It was the first community activity I dreamed up and acted on. Somehow the gig landed me a permanent babysitting job four years later from a neighbor who attended.

I never became a director or actress but I did learn at that age how to envision, create, market, sell, perform, and thank others. Many of those people later wrote references for other jobs and college applications for me, mostly I believe from that one decision to produce a play for them one hot summer day. Giving back to people I knew, felt right.

My philanthropic spirit continued as I became a young businesswoman and entrepreneur. I was always willing to give back in some way with my time and talent to causes that moved me in my community, like participating in the first AIDS Committees at SUNY Oswego in 1987, becoming PR Co-Chair for the Junior League of Syracuse, and providing business advice numerous non-profit boards. I am sure you have a long list too.

As entrepreneurs, it is smart business to be generous in our dealings within our communities or industries. Giving back civically can enhance our reputation, raise brand awareness, create positive relationships, attract customers or staff, and intrinsically change a collective future.

Women TIES Rochester Women’s Event

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is meant to motivate you to re-engage with your community or within your industry and give back. The pandemic isolated many of us and non-profits were dramatically affected. 2023 is the year to choose community service projects to get involved in. Incorporate your staff and customers for a larger impact. See what moves your heart and your purse strings and at least reach out to 1 or 2 organizations and gather information to get more involved.

If you need some inspiration join us in Rochester on May 9th to hear how one businesswoman (pictured above) went beyond her comfort zone traveling to another country to see exactly where her donations were being used, and in the end, building a house for a needy family in the heart of her industry’s country.

Remember our collective future relies on our generosity and example. 

Surviving Serious Business Situations

April 25, 2023

Ten years ago today, this was the blog post I wrote. I thought it would be interesting to repost ten years later and the advice helps you today. XO Tracy

Women TIES

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses


As I drove back from Boston on Saturday, after living through the lock down that resulted from the Boston Marathon bombings, I was overwhelmed with relief, gratitude and exhaustion from the experience. The decision to visit my son after our Women TIES Albany event just made sense. Boston wasn’t too far away and I knew I would have peace of mind making sure he was okay. Little did I know we would be staying in a hotel 5 minutes from Watertown that went into lock down with the rest of the Greater Boston area.

After my return, it took the weekend to catch my breath and settle my thoughts. It’s amazing how tense situations grip our mind, spirit, and body so strongly. I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck until Monday morning.

As soon as the work week…

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