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Communications Check-Up for Entrepreneurs

May 4, 2016

Business advice and wisdom for women entrepreneurs and small business owners


The fresh spring morning pulls me back in time to the lapping shores of Lake Ontario with fresh green buds popping out on the trees lining the walkway near the lake. The beautiful view of the blue lake was my companion as I headed to class at SUNY Oswego every day. One particular day I remember being so occupied by a speech I had to make in my Communications 101 class that I barely breathed in the beauty of the walk. I was too consumed with nerves as the building housing my communications class came into view.

Sitting next to my classmates in a big lecture hall with rows and rows of seats, I remember my teacher saying, “Who wants to go first?” I thought the anxiety would devour my voice if I didn’t raise my hand first. Up I went, walking gingerly to the front of the 100 person class to deliver my speech. I can’t tell you how it went because it was a blur but I must have done well because I passed the assignment. At the time I was gleeful it was the only communications class I had to take as a business major. After starting my first company in 1995, I realized I could have used many more communications courses.

Women entrepreneurs catapult themselves into entrepreneurship with their eyes on the financial rewards and benefits they offer the marketplace. Few envision themselves as saleswomen, managers or public speakers. Yet entrepreneurship demands us to wear many hats whether we want to or not. The only way to gracefully become an experienced entrepreneur is by embracing what we must do to succeed.

Becoming an excellent communicator is an essential element of business success. We must pitch our companies in front of clients to land contracts, promote ourselves to the media for attention, and communicate well in times of difficulty with customers or vendors. When all these opportunities presented themselves to me as a “freshman entrepreneur”, I wished I was strolling back along the water of Oswego heading to another communications class because I realized how valuable that education was to me.

communicationsToday’s blog post is to inspire you to take inventory of your own communications comfort level and ability. Do you communicate well with clients, vendors and staff? Are you willing to speak at events, conferences and programs to share your knowledge and gain valuable exposure? Is your communication style something that attracts more people to you or limits your relationships? Would you consider yourself a good communicator?

If your answer is no, then today is the day you join me in a walk along the shores of Lake Ontario as we head to class together to learn more about how we can become better communicators.

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