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Wednesday Wisdom: Seeking Green

February 20, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Female Athletes

I crave green this time of year. Like the sea foam green ocean waters of Sanibel Island or the rich green maple leaves in full bloom in May. I relish any chance to see blades of thin green spikes arising from the ground and the tiny stalks of wild onions poking out of the soil. Green soothes my sole like aloe. It might be the reason our third room in our humble abode was painted in its soothing shade over the weekend so in the depth of colorless winter I can feel the outside within.

February is also a time of year when women entrepreneurs crave the green of money. Holiday sales are long gone and consumers slow their purchases as if they are squirrels tucking away their cash until April when the barren environment finally produces food again. Surviving a frozen winter in Upstate New York isn’t a challenge just for animals but for small business owners who must constantly sell to potential clients on gloomy, snow laden days on slippery roads and below zero temperatures. It can be tough to heat up our sales skills when consumers are dormant.

As any good New Yorker knows, we are stronger and more durable because of our environment. When the going gets tough, we keep on going. We know how to survive in inclement weather and unpredictable economic markets. We live here for the beauty of contrasting seasons and enduring daily and seasonal changes in nature, life and business. As a onetime Boston marathoner, February feels like I arrived at Heartbreak Hill knowing there was one long climb to the peak only to finally descend to the finish line with no more hills in sight.

How sweet the moment is when you turn the corner in any hard fought battle whether it’s getting another winter month under our belt, being awarded a contract after months of proposals, or implementing new goals and strategies. Our upstate vegetation doesn’t grow on its own over time but rather with a combination of dormancy, nutrition, warmth and right timing. We can’t force a bud to grow; it must appear at its own time. We must also arise at our own time to renew and reawaken financial and first quarter goals after our own hibernation.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom will hopefully inspire you to focus on recent “green” opportunities that have come into your business. Perhaps you will be encouraged to bring in more revenue as winter starts melting to spring. Maybe you’ve been in the midst of your own “Heartbreak Hill experience” only to appreciate its final descent. Don’t leave this recent season without recognizing what you learned, what changed, and what you still need to do to prepare yourself for a rich green spring full of abundant opportunities.

As my March calendar states, “She redefines success. Success comes not through fame and fortune but through rising and risking again and again. She emerges a passionate, resilient woman with a fearless core.” May you find your fearless core when bringing in revenue the rest of winter and rising strong in spring.

Coverage of Women’s Sports Must Increase

February 18, 2019

Inspiration, Wisdom, Activism for Women, Women in Sports and Female Athletes

Every time I receive my local paper newspaper with a large sports section, I count to see how many athletes in the section are females. No matter what week or month it is, there are far fewer female athletes gracing the pages. It always proves to me that women have a long way to go to receive equal media coverage in sports, business and life.

On February 14th, my “love” for equal coverage of women in sports propelled me to write the following letter to the editor of our newspaper to shine a light on the minimal coverage the media does for women in sports in our town. Although this letter was addressed to a print publication who also has an online presence, it is meant for our local television and radio media too – and honestly any media nationwide.

Sometimes its hard to speak the truth especially when you know you are facing a societal issue that could take years or even centuries to correct but if one person doesn’t share their opinion how will the opinion be known and the injustice and inequality brought to light? Here is my letter and act of equality today.

February 14, 2019

Dear Syracuse Post Standard Editor:

I am a long time subscriber to the Syracuse Post Standard, former columnist, 24 year supporter of women entrepreneurs and a Syracuse Women’s Basketball season ticket holder, so I had to finally write to ask why there is so much more coverage of men in sports than women? In today’s sports section there were 14 photos of Syracuse University men’s basketball team members and none of the women. Both teams had basketball games against North Carolina State.

Last night I sat court side witnessing the SU Women’s Basketball team play their heart and soul out against a competitive North Carolina team. In front of me sat 5 photographers taking photos. The women’s game was at home and played one hour before the men’s away game. Am I to believe the photos of the women’s game didn’t make it to the paper in time for publication or is there some other reason for a total lack of photos and much shortened recap of the game?

Did you know women make up 52% of the American population and 2.4 million girls play sports in the USA today? Over one-third of all female students in high school play sports. The number of women participating in university sports has tripled. Women compete in almost every sport. I saw this with my own eyes in October 2017 when I was invited by Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation to mentor amateur female athletes entering the professional world in sports and business. Each told me how poor coverage is of women in sports and how frustrating it is for them. These were multiple medal, elite amateur athletes and Para-athletes whose stories should be told.

When I live in a sports town like Syracuse, I assume the local print, television and radio media will equally cover men and women sports. There is no reason in our modern age that women in sports should not be covered equally to men’s sports. Women are as talented, competitive and deserving of the attention. If you don’t believe me, please show up at the February 25, 2019 for the Syracuse University vs. Notre Dame Basketball game and see for yourself.

Change must start somewhere. I hope all local Syracuse media make a decision from this date forward to show, promote and advertise men’s and women’s sporting games equally. I mean photo for photo and word for word. Everyone deserves it, families, schools, coaches, fans and especially female athletes.

P.S. I have some great photos from last night if you are interested in posting them now!

In entrepreneurial, athletic and feminist spirit,

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES, LLC & Women’s Athletic Network

Self Love Important Attribute For Women

February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Day Wisdom, Thursday Thoughts for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Females

In the past I have written about “love for customers” and “love of entrepreneurship” in my Valentine’s Day blog post, but today, because this year has been so different for me, I am going to write about self-love. The kind of love you truly need to have to get through life and business.

Every day women entrepreneurs all over the globe, wake up, look in the mirror, prepare for important business meetings, juggle family issues and partner relationships and and ask themselves, “Am I good enough?” The reflection we see in the mirror may give us a positive or negative answer to the concept of self-love. The amount of money we have in our bank account provides feedback on our business success. The third question dealing with personal relationships shines through around the dinner table, over Skype and even in text messages.

Through the years, I have given positive reinforcement to thousands of women entrepreneurs struggling with a lack of confidence in starting a business, public speaking, sales calls and customer service. The most important conversations I had were with women about their own self-worth. Born with a strong self-confidence 54 years ago, I have always had a strong sense of self and purpose being who I was in life and business. It has only been this past year losing all my hair and physical beauty that I doubted my role as a woman in life and business.

No matter the good intentions from so many kind people from customers to family members to strangers, I haven’t been able to deal 100% with my alopecia condition. Hope against hope, treatment after treatment, kind words accompanied by kind words, I haven’t been able to fully grasp who I am now when the reflection in the mirror is so different than the half century of life before the disease. I can still give positive words, thoughtful advice and support to the women I serve, but I find it difficult to give it to myself. I’m sure all women have felt this at some point in their life when faced with adversity.

My words of wisdom are always to lift and empower women through difficulties in business, but sometimes my own words don’t penetrate my heart. I feel better giving love to others than to myself. Being kind to strangers is natural for me so is gushing over the women I serve; but being especially gentle with myself eludes me.

That’s why today of all days, on Valentine’s Day, I have decided to be extra kind to myself and spend some time contemplating the good in my life and in myself. I hope you do the same thing. You don’t need a disease to teach you this lesson; you only need self awareness and love in your heart for not only the people in your life but for yourself as well.

I hope you take me up on this powerful gift and lighten your own life the best way you can – by accepting and loving yourself just the way you are. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Imagination and Instinct Light the Path in Business

February 13, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Entrepreneurship

Did you know on this day in 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating the Earth revolves around the Sun? Galileo faced the Roman Inquisition, pled guilty and was put under house arrest for the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence, Italy. Galileo originally entered college to study medicine but shifted his focus to philosophy and mathematics. He conducted some of his research by dropping objects of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and eventually created a telescope that allowed him to observed lunar mountains and craters and discover the Milky Way. Can you imagine what the world would have missed if Galileo didn’t change course in life?

Florence By Adam Higginbotham

I found today’s history fascinating since my son is in Florence, Italy at the moment for a holiday with his girlfriend. He is a civil engineer working in New York City because all his life he loved architecture and dreamed of ways to construct buildings. He almost gave up his dream when college engineering courses were very challenging for him. We encouraged him to work harder and follow his lifelong love of building and construction instead of changing course. Today he is successful and visiting some beautiful architecture in Italy to spark his imagination. I shared Galileo’s story with him since technology keeps us connected and he knows I love adventure. These photos are from his trip.

Florence by Adam Higginbotham

Do you remember what you innately loved when you were younger? If you had to think back to your strongest interests when you were developing as a teen and into college, would you say you are living those interests in your entrepreneurial career today? Is today’s passion reflective of who you have always been or did you change course like Galileo to discover another pursuit? I think back to my early days and planning my first fundraising event at the age of nine to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. I collected $100 from the event. My professional career after college was in event planning. My first business was an event planning company. Now with Women TIES I use event planning to bring women together to unite and market their companies. It’s the same skills but different focus.

Florence By Adam Higginbotham

I believe we are created for a unique mission in life and given the imagination, intellect and instinct to pursue our God-given direction. We must always remember to tap into these three gifts when we face a fork in the road like Galileo did when he switched focus from medicine to mathematics. We know who we are inside. We know what truly motivates and moves us. We aren’t entrepreneurs by happenstance but rather for specific cause to make a unique impact on this world.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to inspire you to imagine you are Galileo traveling down the path to destiny only to realize a turn in direction might be the most important decision in your life. Do you make the turn? Do you change course? Do you stay where you are because you know inside this is the right path? How often do you ponder the path you are on right now and whether it is best serving your unique mission in life?

Tracy and Adam Higginbotham in Devon, England

Today might just be the day to look and listen to the voice inside who knows that answer. If you must, turn onto a different path or stay right where you are moving forward with confidence knowing your instinct and intellect will light the way.

Friday Work Plan for Women Entrepreneurs

February 8, 2019

Friday Work Plan and Friday Feelings for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Small Business Owners

Troubled by too many tasks I wanted to do this Friday morning, I took off in my wind gear walking briskly up my country road with a blue and white dotted sky above me. At times the wind was so strong I thought I’d be carried off the road into muddy cornfields. Getting in a work out of some sorts was top of my morning list along with going to church to pray the rosary for my son’s safe trip to Italy tonight. You can tell right there I’m a faithful, Italian Catholic girl raised on strong beliefs trusting God to help me through life. I’m touched my son is visiting the birthplace of my Italian Grandfather tomorrow when he arrives in Rome, Italy but my motherly worries for a safe flight can’t be ignored.

So I did what any intelligent busy woman entrepreneur would do, I decided to say my novena as I walked up the road. Health and faith led the way. I counted rosary prayers on my fingers as I got blown around. I lost track a couple of times and asked God to forgive me for this very rustic way to pray. Thinking my devotion wasn’t going well, I remembered a visiting priest once say, “God hears your prayers always, no matter where you are praying.” When the sun kept coming out behind the clouds, I knew he was listening.

Sometimes Friday is the perfect day for women entrepreneurs to combine personal and business activities. Most of us put in long hours this week only to face another long work week after the weekend. I learned coming back from my medical sabbatical to take my Friday’s off to balance my mind and body to stay as healthy as I could while still healing. If we are successful women business owners, we know there are days for grinding out projects, sales calls and plans producing ten hour work days so why not allow a Friday here and there to be a day to take it easy combining work and pleasure along with nature and faith?

Monday morning will arrive like it always does like the strong gusty wind trying to blow me off my path. It comes no matter if we work hard or take it easy on Friday so lighten up today and give yourself a break, rest or more pleasurable activities like I did this morning to give yourself peace of mind, relaxation and good health. I look forward to seeing you Monday rearing to go again!

My Answer Is Yes!

February 6, 2019

Inspiration, Wednesday Wisdom and Motivation for women entrepreneurs, women in sports, female business owners

Lately the word “yes” has been appearing in my life in ways of invitations, communication, and opportunities to step out of my comfortable boundaries. I might not be as nervous as Punxsutawney Phil was four days ago rising from comfortable digs to a crowd of media waiting to take my photo but I’ve been making my own brave moves of late and encouraging other women to follow suit.

I shared my personal story and struggle with alopecia to an intimate group of women at a local event placing myself in a vulnerable situation. I accepted two speaking engagements during Women’s History Month. I invited 20 women to become panelists at one of those events inspiring college females in the STEAM fields. I invited local media to cover today’s Women’s Athletic Network meeting on the 33rd National Women and Girls in Sports Day. Will they show? I’m not sure but I’m trying anyways. I also communicated with Coca Cola via Twitter about highlighting the women in my organization since they had a fantastic Super Bowl advertisement that inspired me to ask. They did respond with more information.

Is it hard to ask people or companies to say “yes” to a proposal or proposition you are offering? It sure can be at times. Some days we are brazen and courageous willing to take the risk and other days we aren’t. Who knows if it is how well we slept or if the sun is shining or if we were pumped up by a victory in another place in life. Other times, we aren’t prepared to receive a “no” even if we know it isn’t a personal decision on someone else’s part. Maybe it’s raining out or we just got bad health news that makes us not willing to get rejected or hear “no.”

Periodically we say to ourselves, “I’ll wait until I feel better to ask” or “I just don’t want to be rejected today.” Sometimes we say “no” when asked to contribute to something beneficial due to the time commitment or other priorities. Well I can tell you one thing, there has been 1 or 2 times in my business life when saying “yes” was a really poor decision and I’ve been in business for 24 years. Less than 1% of the time I have made the wrong decision in taking the affirmative when asked. Those are pretty good odds if you ask me. I bet if you thought about it, your percentage would be similar so what are you waiting for?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to challenge you to say “yes” more often to opportunities that come your way. When asked to speak, speak. When asked to attend events, attend more than you think are necessary. When faced with propositions out of your comfort zone, consider wisely and then say yes. If we don’t challenge ourselves to accept new adventures every year, we don’t know what we could learn, who we could meet or how the experience opens the door to the next best step professionally or personally.

Yes, it is hard to commit but I bet if you do, you’ll find a brave new woman standing in your shoes followed by a great new experience she couldn’t have imagined. Honestly what do you have to lose? If it isn’t much, take the chance and say “YES” or maybe even “Hell Yeah!”

Women Are Getting Featured In Super Bowl Prime Time

February 4, 2019

Inspiration for Women in Sports, Women Entrepreneurs, Female Athletes, Female Fans

I sure did sit down yesterday to watch the Super Bowl like millions of people. I am a female football lover thanks to my father who was a high school football coach and taught me how to throw the perfect spiral pass. I also tried out and made the “powder puff football team” in high school playing safety. I am especially fond of that position. My two best friends were running backs and great athletes.

Typical of his time, my dad was a big Dallas Cowboy fan. He never convinced me to become a fan of them because I was too precocious and wanted my own team. I liked the Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings and eventually the Denver Broncos when John Elway was playing quarterback in the early 1980s. I became a big Patrick Mahomes fan when he was playing for Texas Tech because my girlfriend’s son was playing with him and we caught all the games together on Saturday’s from a distance texting back and forth. I do love football.

But what I loved most about Super Bowl LIII was not the fast paced game, but seeing five females in prominent moments before, during and after the game. It began with the coin toss and watching Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King’s daughter followed by Gladys Knight. Both accomplished women who brightened the pre-football stage.

During the game, I saw Antoinette “Toni” Harris, a free safety (just like my position) for East Los Angeles College take part in a Super Bowl Commercial. Toni has fought to play the sport at every level and continues to battle for the dream to play in the NFL. Then Sam Gordon, appeared in the NFL legends Super Bowl commercial. Gordon is an award-winning football player who won the Inaugural NFL Game Changer Award Winner and campaigns for Girl’s Tackle Football in Utah High Schools.

Following the game, I watched Tracy Wolfson, American Sportscaster, maintain her position during an encroaching media swarm, to get Tom Brady’s first post-game interview. I may be partial because her name is Tracy just like mine, but I loved her tenacity to stick in there and claim the interview prize.

Did you know women comprise 45 percent of the National Football League fan base? I’m one of millions of women who love the sport and sports in general. It’s why it’s essential for the NFL and other major league professional teams to count women in to both big and small games and let us take part in the festivities besides just making the guacamole for the house parties.

As NBC News reported online, “A massive cultural shift in the portrayal of women in advertising is evident at this year’s Super Bowl because of increased social activism, the #MeToo Movement and companies looking at gender equality to have had an effect on decision-making in marketing departments and creative agencies.”

If I was younger, I would go back like Toni or Sam and try to play football but instead I can support any girl or woman who wants to achieve her big sports dream, support female athletes and band together with other females to make sure our love for sports is heard by the big leagues.

Make sure to celebrate the 33rd Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day on Wednesday, February 6, 2019! Our Women’s Athletic Network will meet that day in Syracuse for any women interested in joining us! Go to -Thank you.

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