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Balancing a Tech and Non-Tech World to Succeed

September 24, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-29p8z-ecf53c

A 5-minute inspirational business podcast to inspire you to balance your life between the tech and non-tech worlds to succeed. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES, LLC

Wednesday Wisdom: Balancing a Tech and Non-Tech World to Succeed

September 23, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Entrepreneurial Success Strategies, Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, Female Business Owners

The first time I heard a professor say the word “Cobol” I immediately visualized the brilliant blue color “Colbalt” reminiscent of deep water hues of my childhood growing up lakeside. It wasn’t until the instructor at the head of the classroom, in old Sheldon Hall, referred to the majestic hue as a computer program freshmen computer majors had to learn their first semester of business school, that I realized I heard the word wrong.


In 1982, computers weren’t iPads or smart devices but large, industrial machines that took in punch cards and spit out paper reports. To say I didn’t understand the subject from the moment the lecture began until the end of the long semester is an understatement. To this day I prefer to think of Cobol as that blue shade on the rainbow spectrum.

By the early 1990’s, in the hallow halls of another higher education campus where I worked, entire computer science departments, filled with geeky men, trained college employees on latest computer networks. Grasping new technology was infinitely easier to understand with a keyboard and screen plus an attentive hands-on, dedicated staffer to assist blank-eyed employees from diverse college departments. Some slight amount of previous computer knowledge from SUNY Oswego might have helped me understand better this time around.


Fast forward to early entrepreneurial years as a solo proprietor when using new computers was a matter of reading manuals or asking advice from other business owners to advance my knowledge, systems and programs, until a decade later when online courses, YouTube, and other programs educated us all on how best to utilize our computers, websites, Zoom classes, and video conference calls.

No one knew back in the early 1980s, that our society would rely so heavily on electronics but here we are, more reliant than ever before due to the global pandemic, needing computers to keep us connected to everyone in every facet of our lives and workplaces. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with technology for women my age and older who still have half a life experience in a non-tech upbringing and culture.


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you to balance your life in the tech and non-tech world. Gain needed computer and technology education often to help you succeed – especially joining us next week for an online program taught by a woman who loves technology and helping other women business owners with their computers and programs – while balancing out your day off screen. Network face-to-face if you can or work on an outside deck. Write instead of type. Call others instead of text.

Reserve screen time for essential business work and give yourself a break especially now when the hue of the autumn sky is cobalt blue.

Are You Leading A Life of Personal and Historic Significance?

September 22, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-6znjs-ecae05

Monday Motivation: Are You Leading A Life of Personal and Historic Significance?

September 21, 2020

Monday Motivation, Inspiration, Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Business Owners, Women

As I traveled through winding roads from historic Burlington, Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire eventually landing in the coastal city of Wells, Maine founded in 1693 history met me at every landing spot. New England conjures up images of lobster, cranberries and blueberries, ragged coastline, tall pines, sand dunes, family vacations, and the place I’ve spent the most time outside of New York State with my family. But this vacation opened my eyes to the historical significance of the area from a couple experiences.


30 years ago I officially made my maiden name my middle name because I wanted to carry my beloved last name with me through my entrepreneurial, speaking, and writing career. I didn’t want to be lost in history like so many women are because they drop their last names when they marry and because I was born “Tracy Chamberlain” in 1964. As I aged and my feminist spirit took hold, I loved that I had three names to be identified by. Not all women are known by three names, but a couple significant ones I particularly look up to do – Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


As my husband and I made our way north one day to the Joshua L. Chamberlain House and Museum in Brunswick, Maine, for a private tour, to find out more about the historic legend who fought at Little Round Hill on the Gettysburg Battlefield, who many say saved the day along with the 20th Maine at Gettysburg and therefore the Union of this country, I read the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. Without much time to contemplate her legacy at the moment, I listened intently to Joshua Chamberlain’s legacy of not only being a Civil War Hero but a four-time Governor of Maine, and President of Bowdoin College all while living with a painful persistent war wound. Chamberlain eventually died on a freezing day in 1914 at the age of 84, close in age to the amazing Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg death age.

After listening to this man’s story of pure grit and determination knowing he could change the world with his involvement, leadership and actions, made me proud to carry the Chamberlain name, even though I’m not directly related to his blood line. My beloved last name had a new meaning of strength that resonated with my own life story. This reckoning was highlighted by learning of Ginsburg’s passing, a feminist after my own heart, and another historic person who knew they could make a difference in their lifetime by giving their all.


I’m writing this blog post today because Mondays are the perfect day to examine one’s intentions, plans, and spirit, to see what lies within them and motivates them every week. Instead of focusing on the small tasks at hand, each person should listen quietly for the rumbling in their soul and aching in their heart of what they want to do to make their lifetime count for something beyond themselves. A new Monday isn’t just a new week day; it is a chance to remember why we are on this earth and what we want to do with our time, energy, and passion to make a change.


The largest lesson from these two historic figures in my mind is that they didn’t know they were going to be significant in history because they were intent on following an internal, unique motivation to make a difference, and then they couldn’t stop even in sickness. They kept leading a life of personal and historic significance. What can you do today to make sure you are leading your life with both personal and historical significance?

A Fearless Approach to the Rest of 2020

September 9, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-dr9wp-eae982

An inspirational podcast inspired by four amazing female leaders in women’s sports and business to empower you to be fearless and motivated for the rest of 2020. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES, LLC

Wednesday Wisdom: A Fearless Approach to the Rest of 2020

September 9, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Entrepreneurial Wisdom, Business Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Businesses

I followed the flitting white butterflies past the vegetable garden down the back hill to the edge of our pond where they danced in delight among sun-faded purple and orange flowers lining the water’s edge. Following these magical creatures reminded me to enjoy the moment because the second half of this unprecedented work year awaited me in my pool house office. The night prior my husband and I recapped summer memories where we “staycationed” poolside while our New York City sons and their girlfriends, siblings, and their families visited like the white butterflies seeking a bright spot to enjoy if only for a minute.


Easing back into a work routine was made more pleasant than typical as I tuned into the 2020 Boston Marathon Virtual Expo to listen to four empowering women. My feminist idol Kathrine Switzer and Executive Director of 261Fearless.org Edith Zuschmann spoke about their new program “Move the World” bringing four marathons virtually to women interested in participating. The third speaker was Joann Flaminio, the first female president of the Boston Athletic Association, in charge when the Boston bombing happened. Joann and I ran together in a 5K race in San Antonio near the Alamo and visited it afterward. Finally, the new woman on the call was Jay Ell Alexander, CEO of Black Girls Run, which she took ownership of in 2018.


Like everything Covid-19 related, the 2020 Boston Marathon Expo is now a 12-day virtual experience with interviews, panels, and an array of shopping opportunities from the leading brands in running and wellness. In 2017, the expo is where I purchased my iconic blue and white 2017 marathon jacket (everyone buys one the year(s) they run) and my flip-belt for my phone and earphones, and listened to top runners share their wisdom. Since it is the first time in 124 years there is no Boston Marathon, this 12-day virtual event allows fans to participate virtually. Not a novel idea, but a really cool one nonetheless.


Moved by these four women about remaining fearless in sports, life, and business, I wanted to share their words of wisdom with you today as you venture into the second half of your work year, perhaps schooling children at home or trying to balance your work hours around theirs or doing your best to move forward after a hard partial year of sales due to the pandemic.

* Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Joann Flaminio

* “I was never afraid to take on big new challenges given to me. Others were but I wasn’t, I was fearless.” Kathrine Switzer

* “The world is crying out for you to join it with your unique talents, passions and interests. They need you! Get involved. Step into leadership roles.” Joann Flaminio

* “Be a role model so other women can model your positive actions.” Edith Zuschmann

* “I didn’t think I could take on Black Girls Run but I soon realized if I didn’t do it perhaps no one would and I couldn’t let that happen. I had to step up.” Jay Ell Alexander


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to let the wise words of these inspirational female leaders shake you up and create action in your bones to take a more daring approach to your work, leadership opportunities, or business developments. We can’t let the pandemic or our own anxiety to keep us at the start line dreaming of a successful run or celebratory finish line with our companies or life. We must act because I believe like Joann does, “The world is crying out for each of us to join it.” It needs us. We need it.

Here’s to a successful second half of the business year to you and other female entrepreneurs everywhere. Don’t forget to spend your money with women every chance you get.

Wednesday Wisdom – Vital Community Gatherings

September 2, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-b38w6-e9edbc

An inspirational Wednesday Wisdom podcast for women entrepreneurs and female business owners to inspire them to stay involved with their communities. 

Wednesday Wisdom: Vital Community Gatherings

September 2, 2020

Providing 15 Years of Entrepreneurial Wisdom, Economic Ties, Events, and Business Success Strategies for
for Women Entrepreneurs and Women in Business

The text from one of my closest friends, a Harvard educated epidemiologist, who has been stretched to the limits answering emergency calls from her global clients related to the pandemic said, “I can’t wait to hug you next week when we have lunch together because I haven’t seen anyone in forever so I might just cry.” Understanding in some ways how hard she has worked since February her statement made me realize I should have been in contact with her more often even though she was extremely busy.


The lack of community gatherings, friendly hugs, private face-to-face communication, and limited access to people outside our immediate bubble, has more than just my friend craving community. I think it was one reason last Friday’s Women TIES photo shoot, with ten Rochester women and members for a virtual parade to honor the centennial of women’s suffrage, felt so uplifting, memorable, and heartwarming. It was only a 30-minute shoot in the Susan B. Anthony Square followed by lunch but that memory might last forever when it comes to feeling good in 2020.


Fifteen years ago I planned the very first Women TIES luncheon and no one registered. This community of New York State women I wanted to create so badly for their wider economic ties and revenue gains seemed impossible, but I stuck with it because I envisioned a larger network of feminist business women joined by the hip and bank account supporting each other. It worked but it took time to get others on board. As I venture out at noon today online to host our first ever “members only meeting” to create at least an online gathering place and community for my members to meet monthly, pitch their businesses, and inspire them to keep going, it doesn’t matter if one, ten or fifty women join the call. It’s all for the ones who want a community to be with.


Online experiences are not the same as standing side-by-side with other community members, but right now it continues to be the way most women entrepreneurs want to conduct business until early or mid 2021. Embracing the evolution of online community opportunities is a new way of life and business we better accept and relish in, until times change again. I believe if you enter a virtual event with the best intentions to get the most out of the experience, you will. Throw in there the ability to at least connect with women across the state much easier than driving a couple hours and there’s the added bonus. We have to make do with what we have to work with, not with what we desire most.


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you as you head into Labor Day Weekend with or without the people you typically share it with, that you have the choice to accept and enjoy the opportunities and occasions at your doorstep, not lingering in what or who is missing. Wishful thinking is never a harmful thing unless it stops you from participating. If you desire more personal interactions and community gatherings, there are plenty of ways to do it safely and pleasurably.

A year from now we could look back and wish gathering with our community was as easy as turning on a computer instead of driving down a highway so embrace what you have and join us anytime you need women to relate with because that’s what the Women TIES community is here for. Join us today as a member to get more involved. We’d love to have you.

The Power of a Business Invitation

August 31, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-zeshr-e99b0a

This Monday Motivation 6-minute podcast will inspire you to accept more business invitations for community projects, passions, and missions that touch your heart and business. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES 

Monday Motivation: The Power of Accepting Business Invitations

August 31, 2020

Monday Motivation, Inspiration, Pro-Female Focus for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Women in History

For me some of my greatest connections, economic ties, and business kinships started by saying “yes” to something quite new and beyond the scope of experience. It could be the excitement of the unknown risk and reward or the inability to forecast how a new relationship might develop or the raw nudge to step into something fresh that keeps me giving myself approval to introduce myself to a new opportunity.


Asked by a member and sister feminist to join a group of women called “Modern-Day Suffragists, Continuing the Work” to search for suffragists who died in New York State for a new website for the 2020 Suffrage Centennial, I said “sure.” It was the beginning of the pandemic on a raining spring day and business was at a standstill. With an interest in the project, I zoomed in one morning with a crew of documentary filmmakers in Rochester and given an assignment of women to research that day. Everyone has heard of well known suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton but there were other women and men who were “left out of the history books because of their race, ethnicity, or orientation, as well as those who continued to push for equality after the passage of the 19th Amendment we want to identify,” per the website.


In the short time I had to research that day, I found interesting women including a Central New York woman who was one of the original founders of the lesbian movement who ended up residing in the East Village, a place my son lives now with his girlfriend. It was interesting to follow her history of activism in this particular societal issue that still reverberates today in the same location of the Big Apple. I also found some dead ends tracing women on the list because most women change their names when they are married thus being lost in history records. When my younger sister Bre Chamberlain traced our ancestors she discovered the same thing motivating her and I to both keep our last names as part of our full names for history sake.


Friday I had a chance to met face-to-face with three of the women on this project now officially online at https://www.womenandthevotenys.com, at Susan B. Anthony Square in Rochester when they joined me, my friend Jill Bates who introduced us in the first place, and some of my Women TIES members for a 20-second video message for the 2020 City Suffragist Parade in Rochester sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Foundation. They said “yes” to join me because I said “yes” to join them one spring day via Zoom. They shared with me, my name displayed on one of the website pages as a Suffragist Search Party Participant, which I will proudly add to my bio.


Today’s Monday Motivation should demonstrate the power of accepting invitations to unknown, but interesting projects and people you might not have dreamed of before. The world opens up giving you new insight into our place in it. Not only do I hope you keep your maiden name officially in your married name, if you are married, but also proudly use it everywhere you work and go so you can be traced throughout generations for the powerful work, mission, and purposes you have in your lifetime. Women owe it to themselves and future generations of women “looking” for them to be found and recorded for their fascinating works.


Make sure you visit this fascinating new website to find out more about New York State suffragists…..and VOTE this year!

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