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The Tale of Two Speakers

June 28, 2013

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs


I got off the phone with a prominent woman who graciously accepted the offer to be the keynote speaker at my annual conference. I was amazed at her generosity and willingness to say “yes” immediately understanding that women entrepreneurs would benefit from what she had to share. She declined an honorarium knowing the sponsorship money wasn’t secured yet.

30 minutes later, I received a message from another potential speaker who informed me she didn’t have time to talk any further about the speaking gig since it didn’t pay a stipend. She was about to land a “big” speaking event that would bring her the money she deserved. What bothered me wasn’t that she shouldn’t accept an offer that pays well; it was the way she communicated and stated her decision in an email and on my company’s facebook page.

The first woman truly had better credentials and a bigger vision for helping the world. She is the kind of woman I want speaking at my events. I know women entrepreneurs need to make money. I would never begrudge a woman the chance to turn down an offer to receive a better one. But it doesn’t have to entail posting the fact on my social media sites to make a point.

Here are a few universal business lessons I was reminded of today to help you in your business:

* Make sure you align yourself with the right people in every aspect of your business endeavors. Who represents you and who you are affiliated with – large and small – can have a major impact on your image and brand. Just ask Paula Deen how her clients feel about her now. Unfortunately she no longer is the person they want representing her. Be careful in every selection you make.

*Realize the world is made up of good people with good intentions and not so great people with poor intentions. Good ones surface. When choosing clients or selecting vendors make sure you pick the right people, who understand your mission, purpose and perspective, so you don’t waste time giving opportunities to the wrong people.

*If you have an uneasy feeling in your gut or a red flag appears as you try to work with someone, walk away from the potential relationship. It’s better to end something before it begins than to begin something at all.

*Be thankful for the people in your business life that offer to give without expecting anything in return and then be that same person to others.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2013 12:45 am

    Ohhhh, I love this. When it becomes about the money, all service is lost. When it becomes about the service, all money becomes an added bonus. (o:


  2. July 1, 2013 8:57 am

    You are right. No one expects that earning money is not important. But just like the saying “it is not what you say but how you say it”, declining one offer for another is not the problem. It is HOW you do it that matters. Being gracious no matter what will go much farther. Thanks for another great article!


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