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Wednesday Wisdom: Noticing the Difference

December 9, 2020

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

As I walked in through the doors, with my mask on, gloved hands, and sanitizer in my pocket, the lights seemed brighter than I remember. It was if having not been in this place the past nine months erased the illumination of its presence not only in my heart but eyes. Staying away has been difficult, but out of abundance of caution for my comprised immune system, I reserved attendance until yesterday.


Sitting six feet away from anyone and a pew apart, the musicians began their songs. Live music never sounded so beautiful – a gift to my senses once again. I basked in the melodies of the song and piano keys. Only the young female singer could be heard since everyone else was masked which was fine because her voice was so beautiful. “What an unexpected morning gift I gave myself,” I said silently as I left daily mass.


I’ve only seen a handful of my members and clients the past nine months since the pandemic began and being with them in person felt like mass this morning – comforting, joyful, and special. I reminisced on the faces of 3 women who visited me poolside for a business chat in September, joining 10 Rochester women at Susan B. Anthony Park to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with an impromptu lunch afterwards, and a few Christmas shopping visits to buy from members.


As women entrepreneurs we have missed so much in 2020 – revenue, customers’ faces, sales calls, correct business projections, marketing opportunities, and more, but what I can tell you about 2021, as witnessed yesterday, is once we can be together again it will be glorious, bright, happy, and a comforting return to normal. Patience isn’t always the easiest emotion to exercise but shortly we will revisit what we did before perhaps needing to pick up the pieces a bit, reinstating new policies and pricing, being more assertive in revenue collection, drafting a new PR and marketing plan, and working harder on our businesses.


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you this quiet time, no matter how challenging it’s been, will return to normal where you can enjoy the fullness of your enterprise, its customers, vendors, and outlook. The next few weeks are a special time of year in most households so hold onto the time you have, make some calls to your major clients, send cookies or cards to show appreciation, share love, start making plans for the New Year, and immerse yourself in the joy of what you can do right now because it is a gift to recognize.

And……shop with women-owned companies this holiday season.

Doubling Your Effort

December 3, 2020

Friday Feelings and Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners


How many times do we pre-determine a goal or decision before we start on our way? I bet more than not we do this more than 50% of the time. Within the past 24 hours, I limited my thinking prior to beginning tasks and ended up doubling my efforts because the rhythm and energy of what I was doing swept me up.


When it is 37 degrees out, planning a 10-mile bike ride at 8 a.m. isn’t the first distance you think about completing – maybe a 2-miler or 5-miler. But as the sun hit my face and my legs got juice pumping in them, even with the brisk air coloring my cheeks, my spirit soared and I clocked in a joyous 10 miler.


Similarly with a list of ten sales calls in front of me yesterday morning, I figured if I got through half of them, I’d be happy. I created my “no thanks,” “yes!”, and “maybe” response columns prepared to receive a multitude of answers to my sales pitches. What happened? Once I got to five, I wanted to keep going because the answers were positive and the enjoyment from talking to clients made me want to do more calls. Who would think that would happen doing sales calls?


Sometimes the “quantity” of goals gets doubled if we allow the right mindset to evade us and if our natural tenacity for challenge overcomes us. It is perfectly okay to feel resistance at the start of anything really; but once we get going most times our motivation and fulfillment moves us further doubling our efforts making us more eager the next time to do it again.

Wednesday Wisdom – The Business Pendulum

December 2, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Business Advice, Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Businesses 



“I can’t wait to travel everywhere as soon as I can,” announced my son planning a ski trip to Utah in January. “It has been too long staying in one place,” perhaps a typical response from a 25-year old. Thoughts of our own west coast adventure in 2020 were put on hold along with a trip to Italy reminded me our vacation plans were halted as well, just like thousands of other people.

Yesterday, a New York Times article crossed my desk highlighting the prosperity of national print media in the election year but also the halting and closing of local print newspapers struggling with the popularity of the digital revolution and the extended pandemic. Success swings in our favor, and not, at times that’s for certain. Like a pendulum, we ride the high points, and wait patiently in the low ones.


Thinking back to the member survey we conducted in April 2020, the statistic that stands out is 65% of our members wouldn’t attend live events until mid 2021. It reminds me as much as I want to greet women in my organization face-to-face, there is a practicality about waiting and hoping the pendulum on live events and small gatherings with like-minded women will swing upward in the near future.

What have you halted during this strange time in history? Are you still marketing your business even if you aren’t getting the response you planned on perhaps sitting in that low position scratching your head? Have you contemplated closing your doors wondering if fate is finally sending you a message or are you throwing cares to the wind and saying, “Hell no, I’m moving ahead as planned?” I must admit, I like a good “Hell no” response any day of the year.


But is “Hell no” practical or is it mentally necessary at times. I wouldn’t have accomplished some of my biggest feats in life if I didn’t jump on that instinct. I wouldn’t have crossed the 2017 Boston Marathon finish line after running 26.2 miles if I didn’t say “Hell no, I’m trying it!” I certainly wouldn’t have created a 25- year career in entrepreneurship, meeting amazing women if I didn’t say “Hell no, I’m doing it!” Making a bold decision takes some thought but mostly a gut instinct to try it after some consideration. Without the “Hell, no,” there wouldn’t be a final decision.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to have you contemplate if you are in the upswing or low point of your business or life pendulum. If you are in the upswing, how can you promote, maintain and take full advantage of what’s working so well so you can replicate it in the future? If you are in a low point, contemplate other low moments in your career or business and remember the fortitude, strategies, or actions that got you going again because before too long your fortune will change.

I would also dare say, think of the “Hell, no, I’m doing it” moments that exhilarated your spirit and life making big challenges worth experiencing and then embrace that feeling and keep riding the wave with a fire in your soul and a smile on your face because as my son said, “It’s been too long to stay in one place.”

Wednesday Wisdom: Thanksgiving Message for Women Entrepreneurs

November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Message, Wednesday Wisdom for  Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Companies

 

“There is something in every season, in every day, to celebrate with Thanksgiving,” is the quote by Gloria Gaither on an inspirational calendar. As I glance out beyond my computer screen to the beautiful view out my large window that invites the indoors inside with me as I work, I am mindful of what Thanksgiving means to me as a woman entrepreneur within the quote and shimmering light.

Every day I celebrate my independence, intelligence and spirit by opening up my own business doors to a world of opportunity where I can share my knowledge, words and events with a community of amazing. smart, and brave women entrepreneurs. I believe every morning for a grateful woman entrepreneur begins with being thankful for the professional path we have chosen – at times not easy or perfect or pleasant – but always rewarding in ways beyond what a corporate position can offer us.



Oh how my life has been positively enhanced by the people I have met, the places I have gone and the group I belong to because I chose to live a life of entrepreneurship. I hope you awake this beautiful new morning with the same feelings.

We have much to celebrate in every season of our business lives – the start of our companies, the growing stages when revenue is finally steady and during expansion when we move beyond thinking small to living large.

We also rejoice when we have come through a rough patch with finances, lost customers, epic fails and times when we have lost our spirit, only to rise again in thanksgiving for the gift of being women business owners. In every season, in every day, we can choose to celebrate our position in life and business.


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom, as you prepare to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, be mindful of the daily gifts you receive as a woman entrepreneur and what running your own business has brought to your life. If it has been like mine for the past 25 years, it has been a colorful, joyful tapestry of people, places, and blessings that have made life rich and worthwhile beyond words.

I wish you and the ones you love a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving celebration.

Wednesday Wisdom – Thanksgiving Business Blessings

November 18, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-uk3jw-f2a67c

A 5-minute inspirational podcast related to business blessings. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES, LLC

Wednesday Wisdom: Thanksgiving Business Blessings

November 18, 2020

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



Just as I received a notice from Facebook that my annual birthday fundraiser for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation raised $500 this year, I noticed more white hair sprouting on my two-year totally bald head. The previous year my friends on Facebook raised $800 on my birthday and my son’s gracious 25-year old barber friend raised $5,000 because community members showed up to get their hair cut for free and four young adult men donated six hours of their own time and wages to cut hair. When the headlines highlight what’s wrong with our country, remember it isn’t the entire story, especially as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday.


There is always two ways to look at life – through negative grey, fogged up lenses or positive clear lenses. Any day now you can choose to focus on the “dark winter” ahead as the news media spotlights potential devastation from Covid-19 or you can choose to look at the faces of scientists with bright lights shining down on potential new vaccines with hope. As cold days stretch on before us, will you choose to complain about the cold or rejoice in the snowflakes falling miraculously from the sky as if you sit in a Hallmark Christmas movie?


Yes, business sales have been sharply reduced for many women-owned companies, but at the core of the enterprises are a certain amount of loyal customers supporting you because they believe in you and you in them, or why would you still keep going on? Losing 70% of my corporate revenue since live events have been halted and members can’t pay their dues, only makes me appreciate the ones that remain and join me on Zoom calls that much more. If they want to be a part of me and my company, I will certainly remain for them and do all I can to support them.


Corny as it sounds, the heartbeat of any enterprise is the leader’s intentions to provide consistent, excellent services and products to people who desire them. As long as our hearts and our client’s hearts keeping beating and their wallets keep opening to pay for what we offer, we are fortunate and blessed with the motivation to “keep on, keeping on.”


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom, a week before you greet perhaps a smaller than normal family group or less items on your table, is to remind you to count every single blessing you have before you – the people around your table, the money collected by customers to pay for the meal, the grocers working during Covid-19 to stock shelves and the warmth of your house from a glow of love with whoever could be there to join you.


Remember there are people like me, who are thankful for you being a part of their lives in big or small ways, wishing you health, happiness, and above all else an eye for the gifts before you even if it isn’t as exciting as a few grey hairs sprouting on top a bald head as if snowflakes dropped from the sky to give a new fancy look for the holiday. Blessings are blessings – it is as simple as that – don’t let them go unnoticed.

Monday Motivation: The Gift

November 16, 2020

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

Stationed at the wooden kitchen table, with a hot cup of coffee at my side still dressed in nightwear, bells jingle through my phone not because someone is calling but to announce the catholic priest who is starting the processional for daily mass which makes me sit up straighter like I’d do in the front church pew.  Raised Catholic due to my Italian upbringing, Sunday mass was something never missed, in fact with a mother who liked to show up a half-hour early, we prayed longer than most. Even if it was Saturday night mass and we just came from a full day of downhill skiing with rosy cheeks and tired eyes, we showed up at mass sometimes with our ski boots on jingling down the aisle ourselves.


Faith has always been an essential  part of my life but not appreciated as much as now during this pandemic when the daily worry of loved ones, clients, and even global citizens around the world, fill my mind. Always armed with rosary beads around my wrist as a reminder of my faith, I listen more intently every morning to daily mass, not just Sunday mornings, for words of peace, guidance, perspective and love.

This weekend’s homily given by the presiding priest ushered in a reminder to give to others. The month of Thanksgiving isn’t just about being grateful for our own bountiful lives but to share abundance with others. During the Pandemic when thousands of people have lost jobs or their businesses, can’t pay rent or taxes, and struggle to get food on the table, I wondered what I could do with my limited financial supply, because I’ve lost 40% of my revenue not having live events. “What can I give that doesn’t cost anything and yet offers something valuable,” I pondered at 4 a.m. this Monday morning.


The idea came to me like a flash of lighting, a simple gesture, to help other women entrepreneurs strengthen their own self-care and resilience as loved ones cancel holiday plans, customers retract from contracts, and employees contract Covid-19 putting the business owner in tight work environments. “I’ll offer this week’s self-care program, a one-of-a-kind event being given by a member, as a free event. I won’t collect any money and just offer it,” I said to myself and by 6 a.m. an email was delivered to the masses with the offer. I wasn’t concerned about my bottom line but about giving a gift. 

This Monday Motivation is to remind you that we can all give something to others during this extraordinary time in our history, year, and life. What do you have that doesn’t cost you anything but could benefit someone else in your business community? Is it a free service or extra products from a sales project? How about gently used business books or manuals, inspirational CDs, or past event recordings?  How about gift certificates to a future program or a one-hour strategy session? What is lying around your office you don’t need any more that someone just starting off in business could use – an older desk, chair, file cabinet, novels, etc.? Create a list and push it out through social media or your mailing list. 


Don’t forget as you head into the most important giving time of the year, no matter what your circumstances, to try to offer something to someone because perhaps they’ll be moved to do the same to someone else. This act is just one simple way to change the world for the positive in a time when so much negativity and worry abounds. Be generous in spirit and actions and you’ll change the world around you. 

P.S. If you are a woman entrepreneur or female reading this, you CAN join our special Zoom program on 11/18/20 at Noon (EST) – 1:45 p.m. called “Self-Care to Sustain You in These Times” by clicking on this link and registering. In the “Comment” Section, put “Thanksgiving Gift” and you don’t have to pay.  

A Taste of Collaboration

November 11, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-i5psq-f201dc

A 5-minute inspirational business podcast about getting creative and collaborating for the upcoming holiday season to gain more success. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham
Women TIES, LLC

Wednesday Wisdom: A Taste of Collaboration

November 11, 2020

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



River stones laying in a peaceful stream reminded me of the green stones in the handcrafted ring displayed on the third finger of a woman I was speaking with. The silver metal contained the small pieces of rocks supplied by a female lapidary in our organization who custom cuts and makes her own jewelry as well as supplying unique stones to others. It was the prettiest expression of collaboration between two women I have witnessed.

A few days earlier a new self-care program hosted by a woman with years of experience in the field was supported financially in part due to a sponsorship by another female entrepreneur with a complimentary business. If pretty rings can express collaboration, I know for sure women with similar businesses on wellness and serenity coming together to help other women take care in the time of the Coronavirus and political unrest, is equally beautiful. 


Sometimes the meaning of collaboration can be as simple as enjoying one’s favorite orange and vanilla swirl ice cream cone on a 80 degree November day. The frozen delight wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable if it didn’t have a combination of both flavors enticing the palette.

As the holidays approach and advertisements bombard your senses, there is certainly going to be innovative collaborative products and services to entice you to buy and give as gifts. Just as sure as you sip your peppermint latte at your favorite café or drive through “Lights on the Lake” witnessing clever partnership holiday advertising with recognizable brand names, someone is already dreaming up a new concoction with another business in 2021.


Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is meant to intensify your creative and collaborative nature and ideas as you plan your holiday sales projects. Are you already working with another business on a holiday event, sale or product? Have you considered placing display advertising at a popular Thanksgiving or Christmas community event? Could you and a partner create one-of-a-kind holiday baskets to sell together promoting each other’s items? Could you dream up a cool (or hot) menu item and name it after someone popular in your community who gives a lot to others? How about donating a certain percentage of December sales to your favorite non-profit where they promote your sales event and you promote them?

You don’t have to reinvent the red and white candy cane with new flavors every year to make collaboration a creative outlet for your business – unless you are a caterer with a twist of her own. 

Monday Motivation – A Brand New Pink Dawn for Women

November 9, 2020

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-58cpc-f1c561

A 5-minute inspirational podcast about being in New York City on November 7, 2020 when the exciting news broke about the first Vice President Elect being a woman. 

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

Women TIES, LLC

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