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Wednesday Wisdom: Good Ole Girl Power

September 30, 2020

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

When a late September warm air billows between rust colored leaves and pale-yellow sun rays, my spirit floats back in time to the Lodge at Welch Allyn in Skaneateles where for nine years 150 women gathered at the Women TIES special autumn retreat for women entrepreneurs. Every year we had stellar weather, which was so deserving for the hard-working female business owners driving from all corners of the state to meet other women, learn from top female experts, and settle into a non-traditional business day. The place, topics, music, food, kinship and setting were to inspire success deep inside these women to bring back to their office.

Monday as I set poolside in the most glorious weather day, reminiscent of our Retreat days, waiting for 3 women entrepreneurs from Rochester to enjoy my invite to rest by the sparkling aqua water to relax, talk business, network, or fill-up on peace and beauty, I recognized the blessing in making this happen for them. Not every Monday is filled with such positive anticipation for the host and guests but it was that day. I’m sure my neighbors could hear our friendly banter, catch a glimpse of our large smiles, and sense our joy of a last summer day swimming and “catching up” under a canopy of golden leaves in the back hilly sanctuary of my nature-filled back yard.

It wasn’t all fun-and-games though, even if the setting paints it to be that way, we had some pointed discussions on the benefits of contacting clients more effectively via email vs. phone, how each of our business industries were doing since the pandemic hit, our different type of preferred sales styles, buying franchise businesses vs. starting one from scratch, and a few of us were landing business contracts as we gathered. I suppose it was normal in a woman’s day of work in 2020.

If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it is how much I miss my favorite customers, members, new women, and old collaborators when live events went dormant. I appreciate that Zoom can bring them closer to me via computer screen once in a while; but there is nothing like real human interaction to make one’s heart sing and to bolster personal relationships which women live, survive, and work best with. It doesn’t matter if the setting is inside a conference room, in a beautiful wooden lodge, or poolside in bathing suits. Women were meant to feel better being around other women.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to remind you as this beautiful summer weather exits our part of the world and the threat of Covid-19 looms as the cold weather arrives, don’t forget that if you are a woman, you need lots of female relationships to not only get your through business and life, but to lighten up your days with additional sunshine, love, laughter, and good ole’ girl power. Don’t be so nervous about getting sick that you isolate yourself from other women, who with the proper precautions, can safely be invited to spend time with you while sharing business wisdom, and laughter. We need each other.

The letter F is for so many important things in our entrepreneurial life – finances, fearlessness, frolicking, feminism, fashion, failing, flourishing, and above all things female friendships.

What Inspired Me (and You) about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life

September 25, 2020

An inspirational 5-minute podcast which begs the question, “What do you hope people will say about you at the end of your life?” Listen to be inspired. 

What Inspired Me (and You) about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Funeral

September 25, 2020

Friday Feelings, Inspiration, Wisdom for women, women entrepreneurs, female business owners

A memory of sitting in high school writing class being assigned a creative writing piece about what we envisioned our obituary and epitaph would say, rose to mind as I biked along the autumn colored leaf path listening to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s funeral service. Typically listening to rock music to make the fitness time go by fast, I instead rode listening to final words about this amazing woman who rightfully deserved to be heard and remembered. The aura of golden light was a perfect setting for my reflective mood of a woman who dedicated her life to women’s rights.

A few of the spoken words said by the female rabbi specifically touched me heart as I proceeded on the paved road ahead:

* Bader Ginsburg once said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

* Although RBG did not land a job after graduating first in her class at Columbia Law School, because no law firm would hire a female, she instead used her time to ‘evening out the rights of women and men.’

* After 5 bouts of cancer, she came back every single time more focused to press forward.

* Her legal dissents spoke to a future age, they were ‘blueprints for the future.”

The female rabbi concluded with some powerful words herself saying, “We the people must carry on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy, by rising with her strength and moving forward. Let’s be inspired by her strength, blessed with her courage, intelligence, bravery, and unbreakable in our resolve to pursue justice.”

As the final mile of my 9-mile bike ride came to an end as the silence on my earplugs was the only sound to hear after the finish of her funeral, I asked myself, “Tracy, what do you hope people will say about your life’s work?” I thought for a moment and answered myself, “I hope they say I worked passionately to inspire women to support other women financially helping to find a solution to pay inequality by creating strong economic and personal ties between women.”

What do you hope they say about your life’s work?

Like so many women before us, our life work is only rewarded partially during our lifetime, and mostly when we are gone because the issues, we try to resolve are so large and engrained in our history. As the rabbi mentioned, it takes every woman’s strength, courage, intellect, bravery and resolve to pursue equality and justice in the areas that mean the most to them. Thank you Ruth Bader Ginsburg for all you’ve done for women today and in the future. I for one am honored I lived during your lifetime.

Balancing a Tech and Non-Tech World to Succeed

September 24, 2020

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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