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Sticking To Your Beliefs

September 15, 2009

A few weeks ago an important email message came across my desk entitled, “I need a favor.”  It was from upcoming Women TIES Retreat keynote speaker Wendy Walker (, asking for support with an urgent business issue.

After a dispute with national chain Barnes and Noble over the cover of her new book, they decided to drop a very large order. The cover they wanted to change, in her opinion, was highly objectifying to woman and inappropriate given the issues covered in the book. She noted, “When you see the cover we ended up with, you may wonder how much worse it could have been. It really was.” 

To prove them wrong about the ability to sell a book about women without objectifying them, she asked some business associates to make phone calls to Barnes and Nobles’ flagship store requesting the book. I was happy to pick up the phone and place the call for her. The response from the person on the other line was, “My God, you’re the tenth person who’s called this morning. We’ve finally ordered more copies!”  Later in the week, Wendy emailed us saying, “Because of all your calls, Barnes and Noble placed a national order.”

The message from Wendy’s business story is a great one for single women entrepreneurs and small businesses everywhere to remember. Although we might own smaller operations, we can do business with the big boys on our own terms. We do not have to compromise our principles to get what we want. We must remember our ideals and get creative to obtain what we deserve. The other point to remember from her story is to never underestimate the value of calling on your network to support you in your largest challenges.

Remember sometime our biggest disappointments can turn into triumphs as Wendy discovered right after the Barnes and Noble issue, when a major film company called her agent expressing an interest in turning the book into a future movie.

Today’s message is to remind you to stick to your guns when a bigger vendor, company or client asks you to compromise your business ideals. You are your business. Your name is all over your products. You must stand strong.

I encourage you to find out more about Wendy and our entrepreneurial retreat at Women entrepreneurs all over New York State are encouraged to attend our event.  You’ll have an opportunity to personally meet Wendy and buy your own autographed copy of the book “Social Lives” before it becomes a movie. Cheers to happy Hollywood endings and sticking to your beliefs.

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