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Imagination and Instinct Light the Path in Business

February 13, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Entrepreneurship

Did you know on this day in 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating the Earth revolves around the Sun? Galileo faced the Roman Inquisition, pled guilty and was put under house arrest for the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence, Italy. Galileo originally entered college to study medicine but shifted his focus to philosophy and mathematics. He conducted some of his research by dropping objects of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and eventually created a telescope that allowed him to observed lunar mountains and craters and discover the Milky Way. Can you imagine what the world would have missed if Galileo didn’t change course in life?

Florence By Adam Higginbotham

I found today’s history fascinating since my son is in Florence, Italy at the moment for a holiday with his girlfriend. He is a civil engineer working in New York City because all his life he loved architecture and dreamed of ways to construct buildings. He almost gave up his dream when college engineering courses were very challenging for him. We encouraged him to work harder and follow his lifelong love of building and construction instead of changing course. Today he is successful and visiting some beautiful architecture in Italy to spark his imagination. I shared Galileo’s story with him since technology keeps us connected and he knows I love adventure. These photos are from his trip.

Florence by Adam Higginbotham

Do you remember what you innately loved when you were younger? If you had to think back to your strongest interests when you were developing as a teen and into college, would you say you are living those interests in your entrepreneurial career today? Is today’s passion reflective of who you have always been or did you change course like Galileo to discover another pursuit? I think back to my early days and planning my first fundraising event at the age of nine to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. I collected $100 from the event. My professional career after college was in event planning. My first business was an event planning company. Now with Women TIES I use event planning to bring women together to unite and market their companies. It’s the same skills but different focus.

Florence By Adam Higginbotham

I believe we are created for a unique mission in life and given the imagination, intellect and instinct to pursue our God-given direction. We must always remember to tap into these three gifts when we face a fork in the road like Galileo did when he switched focus from medicine to mathematics. We know who we are inside. We know what truly motivates and moves us. We aren’t entrepreneurs by happenstance but rather for specific cause to make a unique impact on this world.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to inspire you to imagine you are Galileo traveling down the path to destiny only to realize a turn in direction might be the most important decision in your life. Do you make the turn? Do you change course? Do you stay where you are because you know inside this is the right path? How often do you ponder the path you are on right now and whether it is best serving your unique mission in life?

Tracy and Adam Higginbotham in Devon, England

Today might just be the day to look and listen to the voice inside who knows that answer. If you must, turn onto a different path or stay right where you are moving forward with confidence knowing your instinct and intellect will light the way.

Friday Work Plan for Women Entrepreneurs

February 8, 2019

Friday Work Plan and Friday Feelings for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Small Business Owners

Troubled by too many tasks I wanted to do this Friday morning, I took off in my wind gear walking briskly up my country road with a blue and white dotted sky above me. At times the wind was so strong I thought I’d be carried off the road into muddy cornfields. Getting in a work out of some sorts was top of my morning list along with going to church to pray the rosary for my son’s safe trip to Italy tonight. You can tell right there I’m a faithful, Italian Catholic girl raised on strong beliefs trusting God to help me through life. I’m touched my son is visiting the birthplace of my Italian Grandfather tomorrow when he arrives in Rome, Italy but my motherly worries for a safe flight can’t be ignored.

So I did what any intelligent busy woman entrepreneur would do, I decided to say my novena as I walked up the road. Health and faith led the way. I counted rosary prayers on my fingers as I got blown around. I lost track a couple of times and asked God to forgive me for this very rustic way to pray. Thinking my devotion wasn’t going well, I remembered a visiting priest once say, “God hears your prayers always, no matter where you are praying.” When the sun kept coming out behind the clouds, I knew he was listening.

Sometimes Friday is the perfect day for women entrepreneurs to combine personal and business activities. Most of us put in long hours this week only to face another long work week after the weekend. I learned coming back from my medical sabbatical to take my Friday’s off to balance my mind and body to stay as healthy as I could while still healing. If we are successful women business owners, we know there are days for grinding out projects, sales calls and plans producing ten hour work days so why not allow a Friday here and there to be a day to take it easy combining work and pleasure along with nature and faith?

Monday morning will arrive like it always does like the strong gusty wind trying to blow me off my path. It comes no matter if we work hard or take it easy on Friday so lighten up today and give yourself a break, rest or more pleasurable activities like I did this morning to give yourself peace of mind, relaxation and good health. I look forward to seeing you Monday rearing to go again!

My Answer Is Yes!

February 6, 2019

Inspiration, Wednesday Wisdom and Motivation for women entrepreneurs, women in sports, female business owners

Lately the word “yes” has been appearing in my life in ways of invitations, communication, and opportunities to step out of my comfortable boundaries. I might not be as nervous as Punxsutawney Phil was four days ago rising from comfortable digs to a crowd of media waiting to take my photo but I’ve been making my own brave moves of late and encouraging other women to follow suit.

I shared my personal story and struggle with alopecia to an intimate group of women at a local event placing myself in a vulnerable situation. I accepted two speaking engagements during Women’s History Month. I invited 20 women to become panelists at one of those events inspiring college females in the STEAM fields. I invited local media to cover today’s Women’s Athletic Network meeting on the 33rd National Women and Girls in Sports Day. Will they show? I’m not sure but I’m trying anyways. I also communicated with Coca Cola via Twitter about highlighting the women in my organization since they had a fantastic Super Bowl advertisement that inspired me to ask. They did respond with more information.

Is it hard to ask people or companies to say “yes” to a proposal or proposition you are offering? It sure can be at times. Some days we are brazen and courageous willing to take the risk and other days we aren’t. Who knows if it is how well we slept or if the sun is shining or if we were pumped up by a victory in another place in life. Other times, we aren’t prepared to receive a “no” even if we know it isn’t a personal decision on someone else’s part. Maybe it’s raining out or we just got bad health news that makes us not willing to get rejected or hear “no.”

Periodically we say to ourselves, “I’ll wait until I feel better to ask” or “I just don’t want to be rejected today.” Sometimes we say “no” when asked to contribute to something beneficial due to the time commitment or other priorities. Well I can tell you one thing, there has been 1 or 2 times in my business life when saying “yes” was a really poor decision and I’ve been in business for 24 years. Less than 1% of the time I have made the wrong decision in taking the affirmative when asked. Those are pretty good odds if you ask me. I bet if you thought about it, your percentage would be similar so what are you waiting for?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to challenge you to say “yes” more often to opportunities that come your way. When asked to speak, speak. When asked to attend events, attend more than you think are necessary. When faced with propositions out of your comfort zone, consider wisely and then say yes. If we don’t challenge ourselves to accept new adventures every year, we don’t know what we could learn, who we could meet or how the experience opens the door to the next best step professionally or personally.

Yes, it is hard to commit but I bet if you do, you’ll find a brave new woman standing in your shoes followed by a great new experience she couldn’t have imagined. Honestly what do you have to lose? If it isn’t much, take the chance and say “YES” or maybe even “Hell Yeah!”

Women Are Getting Featured In Super Bowl Prime Time

February 4, 2019

Inspiration for Women in Sports, Women Entrepreneurs, Female Athletes, Female Fans

I sure did sit down yesterday to watch the Super Bowl like millions of people. I am a female football lover thanks to my father who was a high school football coach and taught me how to throw the perfect spiral pass. I also tried out and made the “powder puff football team” in high school playing safety. I am especially fond of that position. My two best friends were running backs and great athletes.

Typical of his time, my dad was a big Dallas Cowboy fan. He never convinced me to become a fan of them because I was too precocious and wanted my own team. I liked the Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings and eventually the Denver Broncos when John Elway was playing quarterback in the early 1980s. I became a big Patrick Mahomes fan when he was playing for Texas Tech because my girlfriend’s son was playing with him and we caught all the games together on Saturday’s from a distance texting back and forth. I do love football.

But what I loved most about Super Bowl LIII was not the fast paced game, but seeing five females in prominent moments before, during and after the game. It began with the coin toss and watching Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King’s daughter followed by Gladys Knight. Both accomplished women who brightened the pre-football stage.

During the game, I saw Antoinette “Toni” Harris, a free safety (just like my position) for East Los Angeles College take part in a Super Bowl Commercial. Toni has fought to play the sport at every level and continues to battle for the dream to play in the NFL. Then Sam Gordon, appeared in the NFL legends Super Bowl commercial. Gordon is an award-winning football player who won the Inaugural NFL Game Changer Award Winner and campaigns for Girl’s Tackle Football in Utah High Schools.

Following the game, I watched Tracy Wolfson, American Sportscaster, maintain her position during an encroaching media swarm, to get Tom Brady’s first post-game interview. I may be partial because her name is Tracy just like mine, but I loved her tenacity to stick in there and claim the interview prize.

Did you know women comprise 45 percent of the National Football League fan base? I’m one of millions of women who love the sport and sports in general. It’s why it’s essential for the NFL and other major league professional teams to count women in to both big and small games and let us take part in the festivities besides just making the guacamole for the house parties.

As NBC News reported online, “A massive cultural shift in the portrayal of women in advertising is evident at this year’s Super Bowl because of increased social activism, the #MeToo Movement and companies looking at gender equality to have had an effect on decision-making in marketing departments and creative agencies.”

If I was younger, I would go back like Toni or Sam and try to play football but instead I can support any girl or woman who wants to achieve her big sports dream, support female athletes and band together with other females to make sure our love for sports is heard by the big leagues.

Make sure to celebrate the 33rd Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day on Wednesday, February 6, 2019! Our Women’s Athletic Network will meet that day in Syracuse for any women interested in joining us! Go to http://www.womensathleticnetwork.com -Thank you.

Live Positive Women Entrepreneurs!

January 30, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Sports, Business Women, Entrepreneurs

What possibly could inspire you to work on such a frigid day with the Polar Vortex in our vicinity? What I have witnessed taking photos of nature to add to my creative writing is how crystal clear outside images appear on 4 degree days. The sun never looks so bright or the snow so sparkly then on cold mornings. The trees look especially rustic and the blue grey pines on a blue spruce tree get more contrasting with snow on their branches. Different hues of blue and grey color the skies and the red barn outside my window is the most beautiful rich color on cold mornings. Why is that? It is clarity at its best.

Before you join other people clamoring about the conditions, why not consider the gifts a cold morning can bring to your professional life. The clearness of this morning might accompany a morning meditation for clarity in your business goals. The beautiful yellow-orange sunrise rays might trigger a warm feeling in your heart to reach out to customers and say hello. The green tints of spruce branches might inspire you to do sales calls because green is a color all women entrepreneurs like in their bank accounts. One cold day is not a mandate to stay in bed or complain but quite the opposite.

Someone on my Twitter feed living in a year round warm climate said, “Every day seems like the same day when the warmth is all around you. I miss the changes in season.” A refreshing reminder for us that the grass might literally be greener on the other side of world, but is life as impactful, colorful, challenging, glorious and palpable as it is right now? Don’t call me an optimist but rather someone who chooses to look outside her window to see the beauty and gifts life presents. It is similar to the philosophy of looking at a glass half empty or half full. Which way do you choose to see your world?

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is a gentle reminder that you control how you feel and whether you see the elements, conditions or circumstances in your life from a positive or negative perspective. Does your perception shape your outlook on business duties, feelings or action? If you choose to see the negative in this Polar Vortex day, what will you accomplish or miss accomplishing focusing on the circumstances you cannot change? Check in with your mood this morning and readjust it if it’s needed.

I can tell you as a bald woman now, instead of whimpering about having a really cold head, I go to my favorite drawer of pink hats and plop one on my head as I listen to my 15 year old cousin Jake’s piano recital, drink my dad’s favorite coffee, prepare for my Syracuse event tomorrow were I will see women I love and write from the depth of my heart to inspire women like you. Live as positive as you can! You have the choice.

Monday Motivation for Entrepreneurs – Planning for the Unexpected

January 28, 2019

Monday Motivation, Inspiration and Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, Women in Business

“No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected” is the quote on my inspirational calendar this morning. The quote was said by Julius Caesar. The saying resonated with me as a woman entrepreneur, 30 year event planner, female athlete, and 54 year old bald woman dealing with Alopecia. It is impossible to plan for the unexpected so planning is imperative to survive when unexpected situations arise.

This may not sound like the perfect Monday Motivation topic you were looking for to lift your spirits but the point is most days are uneventful and taken for granted until something arises we aren’t prepared for that interrupts our lives with a sudden change of plans. As a woman entrepreneur with the freedom to alter her schedule when she wants, there are still times when something unexpected takes me off track interrupting my best laid plans.

As a thirty year event planner, I know I can plan for everything but the unexpected occurrences that always arise in the scheme of planning events. I’ve faced challenges when a gym holding 500 people lost its lights at night darkening the room and panicking the audience or having a thunderstorm approach as a bride walks down an outside wedding aisle. If you have planned everything perfectly then the only thing you can do when an emergency occurs is have the mental ability to handle the challenge. Mental toughness is hard to teach unless you’ve experienced enough difficult situations.

I needed to take a break from my business only four times in my two decade career. Twice when faced with Alopecia that stripped me of all my hair, once when my father had a massive stroke in Maine and died six days later and when my stepmother entered hospice care a year ago. I had to retreat from work to deal with personal situations I could not ignore. With a clear communications plan aided by great technology today, understanding customers and a tenacious work ethic proving I was not taking time away for anything more than an emergency, I survived in business with no regrets for the time I took away from my desk.

Sanibel Island, Florida photograph by Tracy C. Higginbotham

I think it’s really important for small business owners everywhere to realize planning for the unexpected situation in advance of anything happening can be a stress reliever when the unexpected happens. We owe it to ourselves to plan as best we can for the expected and unexpected parts of life and business. As Oscar Wilde said, “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.”

Note: If you are a woman entrepreneur working and living in Central New York or Syracuse, I am presenting on this topic of “Taking a Pause in Your Business” sponsored by Pathfinder Bank this Thursday, January 31st from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Cafe 407 in Liverpool, NY. More information is at this link.

3 Examples on How Electronic Communication Can Engage Customers

January 23, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Females in Sports

Yesterday I was fascinated watching New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul presides over an important vote in the New York State Capitol Building in Albany sitting at my desk. I never watched a Senate session in person so having a chance to watch it streaming live was captivating. Each New York State Senator had the opportunity to not only cast their vote but also explain their reasoning behind their decision. I only took one political science class in college and never witnessed laws passed in a live session.

When Twitter announced the New York State Senate vote on the Women’s Reproductive Health Act, I turned it on. Before I lose you thinking this is an editorial on a woman’s right to choose, it is not. It is to enlighten you as you start a new business year how you can participate in live events when you can’t be someplace or how you can bring that technology and services to your constituents so they can participate electronically from afar.

Just before turning on the live Senate session, I was already on my computer being educated for an hour by a woman entrepreneur through Zoom, demonstrating how I could use the products and services she sells. Honestly, if she didn’t demonstrate the products and services to me online, I might not have signed up for it. Having seen it, I did.

Earlier in the day, I saw another tweet about applying for a TCS New York City Marathon’s free entry drawing. The New York City Marathon, like some other marathons, offers giveaway entries to people who don’t have qualifying times to enter on their own or who aren’t running with a charity allowing them to obtain a bib like I did running the 2017 Boston Marathon. By raising money for non-profit organizations, interested marathoners can enter a race under a non-for profit bib helping their organization raise necessary funds to support their services.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom gives you three descriptive examples how organizations, companies and entrepreneurs engage, enlighten, and educate viewers from afar by using video technology. Is 2019 the year you need to learn more about using live streaming, Zoom, and online applications to advance yourself and your business further? All women are not technologically equal. It is perfectly fine to admit it and then take necessarily steps to become more educated through online live seminars, hiring someone to teach you one-on-one or attending seminars in person.

I will not forget witnessing male senators wearing ties and pink scarves yesterday as they voted affirmative for passing this women’s bill or how excited I am to have a chance to run in the New York City Marathon if my entry is chosen or how I bought from a woman entrepreneur from the comfort of my own office. Now it is your turn to use electronic communication for your own and your customer’s benefit.

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