Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

Smart Women Buy

Guest Post by Jeanie Douthitt

Did you know that women’s buying power tops $2.4 trillion annually and that they control or influence 85 percent of all household purchases?  For years, women have been recognized as the chief purchasing officers for their households and they still are the primary decision makers for household goods.  But women also drive the big-ticket expenditures for themselves, their families and their businesses.  For example, women drive the purchases of:

  • 91% of new homes
  • 80% of health care
  • 93% food
  • 65% new cars
  • 93% over-the-counter medications

Have you ever had a light bulb moment that you thought could change your life? It actually feels like lightening striking you.  That happened to me after I had been in real estate for a short time and again recently when I was trying to figure out how to take my business to the next level.   The first time it happened after a very good girlfriend called me and reminded me of the “less than positive” real estate experience she had gone through when buying a home as a single woman.  My friend actually had a homeowner say to her “Honey, do you think you can afford this house?” while seeing his home.  Unfortunately, that was just one of many hurdles during her journey to finding her dream home. She had recently suffered great loses with the deaths of both parents and her divorce.  Added to her worry, she had been diagnosed with cancer and that was the driving reason for her decision to purchase a home.  My friend implored me that I “MUST” help single women buy or sell homes.  That was the beginning of my journey to create Smart Women Buy Homes, a program for single women.

In my research, I found single women buy approximately one million homes a year.  Between 2002 and 2003, women spent $550 billion buying homes.  That dollar amount is expected to continue to rise according to a study done by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing.  This information combined with the current housing market and record low  interest rates means more home buyers can purchase homes and attain more affordable mortgages.  Jenay Bowen, a Senior Loan Officer with Service First Mortgage  says, “We often talk about the PRICE of buying a home versus the COSTS of buying a home.  Of course, price is a key component of the cost.  The other key component is the interest rate of the mortgage.  Just a small increase in interest rates can have a BIG impact on your monthly payment. For example, a $100,000 loan at a current interest rate of 4.75% for 30 years would equal a principle and interest payment of $521.65 a month.  This exact same home with a $100,000 loan at 8% for 30 years would equal a principle and interest payment of $733.36 a month.  This is a difference of over $200 a month just because of the higher interest rate.  If you are looking to buy a home and are waiting to see what will happen with prices, remember interest rates will also impact your housing cost”.

So why are so many women buying homes now?  Women are earning more money than ever before in our nation’s history.  They are waiting longer to get married. Becoming more educated and financially stable has given single women the confidence to procure a home.   Single women are now building their own financial nest egg, which includes home ownership.  No longer do women feel like they need to settle down with a husband before they buy a home.  Purchasing a home gives them a sense of security economically, and a place to live when they retire.  Since women understand a good home investment brings equity, many of them are investing in a second home.  Single females accounted for 13% of all second /vacation homebuyers in 2001/2003 according to the Realtors Profile.

With the number of women purchasing homes increasing, there is a real demand for experienced professionals to help navigate single women through the home buying process. InCharge Debt Solutions article “Single Women Are Buying Homes in Large Numbers”, points out that the biggest obstacles to single women are the lack of information about the home purchasing process, and understanding the dynamics of credit issues. This leaves many women feeling intimidated by the whole home buying process. Because the real estate market offers many challenges for a novice homebuyer, it is essential to find a real estate professional that understands the wants and needs of single women homebuyers. Single women can realize their dreams of home ownership through Smart Women Buy Homes, a program specifically designed to help women through the home buying process.

I wanted to take my business to the next level.  Unsure of which direction to go, I attended the Chairman’s Circle with eWomenNetwork and lighting struck again!   I began to understand that women are making buying decisions every day.  Though these choices are not all as large a financial decision as purchasing a home, women still are looking for very definite things when making their purchasing decisions and I have the ability to facilitate this process through my business.

While working with women, I learned a lot about them and what they really want.  Women want information. They want to know the basics of the product/service and then some.  Every aspect of a product/service is important to women. The size, color, material, weight, look and feel, warranties, etc.  They want to know it all so they can make an informed decision.   Women want to be respected as savvy consumers; supported and educated during the sales process rather than have an advisor take the role of the know-it-all expert using acronyms and terminology they do not understand.  Using pictures or showing women in a more visual way goes a long way towards helping them understand and feel more comfortable with buying decision.  Going at a woman’s pace during negotiations, without rushing her to close the deal today, will serve all parties. Women generally take longer to make a buying decision, however, once satisfied with their purchase and experience with your business, women statistically are more loyal then their male counterparts, and more apt to go online and write a positive or negative review.  Women want to work with someone they trust and respect.

With the knowledge I gained while working with these women, I saw a real need to replicate what Smart Women Buy Homes offered them.   I launched Smart Women Buy, a service for women focusing on the consumer experience as well as the provider experience.  We help women by providing them insights, clarity, direction, and resources for the products and services that they plan to purchase.  In addition, we train and certify those who provide services to our Smart Women buyers.  As a consumer, you can count on Smart Women Buy to give you information that is direct, no-nonsense and uninfluenced by advertising. And because there are no sales here,  just good information to educate you in your purchasing process, you can make the right buying decision for you. We only align with providers who care about women consumers and treat them the same way “they” want to be treated because we understand that that is how Smart Women Buy.


Jeanie Douthitt is a Platinum Member of the Chairman’s Circle

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Want to Get YourBuzz for Business?


Do you want to know what customers are saying about your business online?  Managing social media conversations can be time consuming and distracting.  There are a variety of products in the marketplace to help you manage discussions, post comments or retweet.  Our favorite is YourBuzz , a free application from American Express® OPEN, which offers a unique means of monitoring, managing and growing your online presence across social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook  with the added benefit of giving you access to your ratings and reviews on Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch, Yahoo!Local, Bing Local and Superpages.

This app allows you to:

  • View customer reviews, ratings and online mentions in one place;
  • Respond, retweet, or create a new conversation;
  • See how you stack up against the competition; and
  • Get recommendations on action to take.

The YourBuzz application has some valuable features, including a scheduling feature so that you can pre-plan your marketing communications.  It also provides reporting with trends information, ratings by source and even ratings versus your competition.  By drilling down into the contacts area you can determine influencers based on their connections and review the geographic distribution of your network.  You also have the ability to view, edit and create profiles on these sites through YourBuzz.

If you are utilizing any combination of these social media and ratings/review platforms as part of your online marketing mix, then be sure to check out YourBuzz.  Let me know what you think!

is a valued and trusted sponsor of eWomenNetwork

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Philanthropy…The Missing Link in Your Business?

Gail Sullivan, Founder & CEO of  BECAUSE WOMAN, LLC

Philanthropy… The Missing Link in Your Business?

I recently attended a businesswomen’s luncheon on “Giving Matters” and heard one of our community’s most distinguished philanthropists state, “The joy of living is in the joy of giving”.

Surely you have heard the old adage that is sometimes described as the Principle of Giving:

Give and it will come back to you – good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”

Many of the happiest and wealthiest individuals that I have met over the last several decades have commented that the “key” to their success has been in their generous giving.

Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and that’s why philanthropy is one of my company’s key components.   Consider the following ways to add value to your company through giving, and watch for the positive returns

5 Ways to Add Philanthropy to Your Business Plan

1. Put together a Philanthropic Budget.

Consider setting aside a portion of your monthly business income to be specifically used for philanthropy.  There is a vast range of non-profit organizations in every community that could use your help.  Every gift, great and small will be considered a blessing.

It’s so easy to say, “ I don’t have any money.” But then, when I think of how easy it is to waste dollars at a time on things that don’t really matter (like those daily fancy coffee drinks that are filled with calories that I’m trying to avoid or the newest office supplies that are bought in excess and never used). Contrary to all that, my philanthropic giving can help organizations achieve something that really does matter.  You know what?  I’m embarrassed that I haven’t given more and more often.  Now is the time to change that!

Not enough cash flow?  Consider budgeting your philanthropic services.  501c3 organizations always appreciate service gifts.  For example, the local catering company caters 2 big non-profit fundraising events a year; a florist supports her favorite charity by providing the centerpieces for their annual fundraising event; and an entrepreneur of a local hair salon provides free haircuts, on the Saturday before school starts, to kids in a lower income neighborhood. What an awesome way to contribute!

2. Volunteer.

Philanthropy can also be in the form of service. Consider volunteering to help out at an annual event for a cause that you are passionate about.  This is something that you can do personally as well as getting your employees involved.  You will be amazed at how many people will join with you in your efforts to give back to the community.

For the last several years I have joined our local Boys and Girls Club to help hand out gifts to the children at their annual Christmas party.  The first year my two daughters joined me.  The following year several co-workers decided to come with me and continue to give to this day. Eventually the company I worked for became a sponsor of one of their annual events. It appears that philanthropy can be contagious.

3. Master the layups.

There are many community organizations that provide some of the most basic essentials for people in need.  All of us can make a huge difference just by consistently giving our gently worn clothing to the Goodwill, or extra food to the local food bank.  Consider having a seasonal giving drive for these events right in your office.  Allow clients to participate and accept donations as well. These are easy layup shots that any business can incorporate.

4. Take it to the next level.

Do you sometimes feel that your gift is so small and wonder what good could it possibly do?  A giving “team” boosts donation dollars to the next level. That’s right, get others involved… family, friends, co-workers, clients and even prospects. Does your company hold any type of annual event?  Consider adding a raffle in which all the proceeds go to a chosen non-profit group or cause.  Allow all attendees the opportunity to participate.

I recently held a company event and had determined to give a percentage of the income to a local cause.  I was disappointed when I realized how small that donation would be. I decided to brainstorm about how I could give more. I took a third of the money I was going to give and bought an amazing raffle prize for the event and announced where the proceeds were going.  The donation ended up being almost 3X what I was originally going to donate. Bravo!

5. Never underestimate the value of a small gift, and don’t hold back on giving a larger gift when you know the time is right.

“Despise not the day of small things!” Everyone starts somewhere. Become a consistent giver in the small opportunities that exist, and over time, you may develop into an experienced, generous philanthropist.

As you begin making philanthropy a key component in your company, begin to notice what happens.  Time and time again, I end up with so much more in return.  The effects are amazing!  The people I work with seem happier.  Somehow, this “giving” component allows for something great to occur in the workplace.  Goodwill manifests itself and my clients and prospects like that.  My business begins to change, for the better.  I feel like I begin to change for the better. And all this just makes me want to give more.

Recent research also shows that there is a correlation between philanthropic giving and sales.  (Network for Business Sustainability, Use corporate philanthropy to grow your top and bottom line, Source:  Strategic Management Journal, How corporate charitable contributions enhance revenue growth. (2009) Baruch Lev, Christine Petrovits and Suresh Radhakrishnan)

If you are attending the eWomenNetwork Conference in Dallas this month, you will witness firsthand the impact of generous giving.  Throughout the year there are many opportunities to give to the eWomenNetwork Foundation.  You will be inspired at how your philanthropic contributions can accomplish great things!



Gail Sullivan is a Platinum Member of the Chairman’s Circle


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Maximum Benefit from Your Accountability Partnership

Guest Post by Robert MacPhee, Heart Set, Inc.

Wow! I was talking to my dear friend Stephanie Perez this morning about accountability partners. Both of us have been in accountability partner relationships over the past several years with mixed results. You know this arrangement, right? It’s simple. You and your partner call or e-mail each other every day and make specific action commitments. You start the call by reporting on how you did yesterday and then make commitments for what you will get done today. The premise (a very accurate one in my opinion!) is that we will often do something when we commit to someone else that we would not do if we “only” committed to ourselves.

Stephanie and I both agreed that the hard core “do it or suffer the consequences” approach did not work for us with accountability partners, and that, in fact, it sometimes created ADDITIONAL resistance to taking action.  The five year old boy in me comes out, saying, “You can’t make me!”

So here’s the idea we came up with this morning, one that any accountability partnership can use: structure your accountability call using the Manifesting for Non-Gurus approach. Each day check in with your partner and tell him or her who you are, what your intention is, how you expect to FEEL when that intention is manifested, what attachments are showing up and what actions you are committed to accomplishing today. Wow. The conversation ends up at the same place – action commitments – but feels totally different than it does when we just focus on actions and consequences…  And it only takes a couple of minutes to structure the conversation this way.  Time well spent if you ask me…

Stephanie and I started this new approach to our accountability partnership today. I invite you to try it too.

Join Robert MacPhee on the eWomenNetwork Success Institute, 6.28.11, at 1:30pm CST to learn “How to Generate Results with Ease”.

Original post at Manifesting for Non-Gurus.com/blog

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Let’s Get this Party Started! The Conference can begin today, if you engage!

Through all the wonderful social media avenues, we can start making Conference connections today! Here are three things you can begin now to start connecting with others that are going to be at the Conference as well as preparing for who you want to see once you arrive.

1. Of course, I encourage you to “Like” the eWomenNetwork Facebook page. Just to be clear, if you happen to live in a city where there is a chapter, you may already be connected to that chapter’s Facebook page. I’m talking about the corporate eWomenNetwork Facebook page. I am posting new things about the Conference daily, and by “Liking” us, you will have access to the information instantaneously. Instead, you run the risk that your chapter Facebook page is not lifting the information and posting it. That keeps you out of the loop, and heaven knows we don’t want that to happen!

2. If you are a tweeter like me, I would love to connect with you on Twitter too! I usually post 2-3 times a day, so you are sure to get the latest nuggets of information! I love to pass them on as soon as I get them myself. My tweets include announcements, reminders, opportunities, and encouragement. Please make a note of my Twitter handle: @SandraYanceyeWN (don’t forget the “eWN” after my name or your message will go to someone else). You may also wish to know the corporate eWomenNetwork Twitter handle: @eWomenNetwork. Finally, if you have wonderful comments you’d like to make about the Conference, just include the hashtag #eWN2011. When you include this hashtag, your Conference comments will be posted to the Conference pages on the eWomenNetwork website. How cool is that? We will promote you to all our visitors for posting encouraging words about the Conference.

Just to be clear, if you have comments you wish to tweet that are not related to the Conference, just use the Twitter handle @eWomenNetwork (and don’t use the hashtag). That way, your non-Conference topics will be in the appropriate and perfect place!

3. Finally, you can always check out LinkedIn. The Conference is listed as an Event on LinkedIn. You can share the information with your LinkedIn Network by clicking on http://events.linkedin.com/11th-Annual-eWomenNetwork-International/pub/699912 and then clicking on the Share button to send InMail to your contacts. You can post comments on that page as well. Does your chapter have a LinkedIn Chapter Group? That is a great place to share and discuss Conference plans for your Chapter.

If you are comfortable, please go ahead and set up Facebook and Twitter on your mobile device. If the thought of this makes you twitch, no worries! You can either skip this or we can help you once you arrive at the Conference. We will have the “Be Social” booth set up prominently in the Expo Area. Lisa Larter, from Ottawa, Canada, will be our Social Media expert this year (don’t miss her breakout session). She and her team will be readily available at her booth throughout the Conference to answer your questions and get you moving and grooving in the social media world. She helped me, and there’s no turning back now. What once seemed intimidating is now like second nature!

That wraps up my highlights on how to maximize your Conference experience by getting social and starting now! Enjoy the tips … more to come next week!

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Put a little Show Business in your Business and Unleash Your Star Power!

Guest Post by Barbara Niven

Every time you perform, speak, talk to a video camera, network or take a meeting….you want to WOW them! To do that, it’s not so much what you say, but how you say it. You can’t plan it or memorize it…you have to live it and be in the moment, so that the air crackles between you and them. That is Star Power! And I promise that you can create it every time. It’s a step-by-step technique that actors use…not to be fake…but to be our most authentic and emotional and revealing. When you do that and also plug into your passion, it’s contagious.

And sorry, it’s not all about you. It has to be all about THEM.  True stars create a real experience for their audience and viewer. They take them on a real journey. It’s a full-out magic ride.

So you can’t just be all about imparting knowledge. Get out of your head because that is going to keep you stuck and removed from your Heart. No matter what your message or product or service is that you’re talking about, you must speak from your passion and truth, and especially your Heart so that your audience takes that journey with you.

And when you do…and they do…that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you have unleashed your true Star Power.

It’s never just you doing a monologue. It’s always a dialogue so that you include who you’re talking to. Always think of it as sending it from your heart to land directly on the heart of your viewer, whether you’re speaking in front of a large group or to that one person who is on the other side of the camera lens, watching you at home. It must be your most personal and passionate communication, straight from your heart. Your truth will then travel straight to their heart and they will be moved.

And remember to have fun while you’re at it! That is the secret that makes magic with your audience. The more you play and have fun, the more your audience does too, no matter what material you’re delivering. In fact, the heavier the material, the more you have to find the opposite. Don’t play a “mood” – go against it. Dip into it for an effect, because emotion is a powerful tool, but then turn it into something else. Be unpredictable. The audience will love you for it.

Be unique – reveal yourself. Don’t try to be like anyone else, because you’re not. You are special. And you have your own quirky sense of humor, your own delicious imperfections, your own sense of timing, your own unique way of talking or walking. These differences that make you YOU are what make you compelling to watch, especially when you are fueled by your passion and sense of play.

Think about movie stars like Katherine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Will Smith and so on. They are movie stars because they know how to connect to their truth and they are unpredictable in how they convey their message. They don’t just ask themselves “how would somebody else play this part.” Instead they integrate the words into their entire being and when they speak, it’s magic. That’s why you can’t take your eyes off them! They are compelling to watch. And each of them, if given the same script, would act it out differently. They use their own unique qualities.

You must too. Play with it and unlock yourself to all the possibilities. Don’t try to do “what you think they want.” Change it up. Do something difference each time. Shock yourself and shock the audience! They will go on the journey with you. For instance, I start out different speeches that I give in a number of different ways. For one, which is for my “ACT AS IF to Live your Dreams!” presentation, I open by running up screaming from the back of the room clutching my fake Oscar, as if my name was just called at the Academy Awards. The energy is electric and the room is full of laughter and excitement and magic before I even say my first word!

Dare to be different in everything you do. Mix it up. If you’re at a networking event, do something that doesn’t sound like everybody else. Put your real passion into your 30 second message instead of just your name, business, blah blah blah. Don’t waste your valuable time. Use some drama. Ask a question, put in some emotion and humor, stand out! You will be remembered…and your business will grow.

I wish you lots of success and fun while you’re building your business. Get out there and share your passion, your service and your product with the world. You have the power to change lives! Get excited about it. When you’re fired up, it’s contagious. That gives you charisma and STAR POWER! If you use it, people will walk out the door differently after they leave you, with a new sense of their own power and purpose. And you’ll have them as a new client. That is a beautiful 360 degree win.

Original post from Show Business 101

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Hot Tips to Maximize Your Profile

Guest Post by Gail Z. Martin, President, DreamSpinner Communications

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at eWomenNetwork profiles.  I’ve reviewed hundreds of profiles out there.  Some profiles make me want to pick up the phone and call the person right away.  But many of the profiles are not nearly so exciting, not as attention-grabbing, not as likely to get a call or an email from a prospective client.

What makes the difference between a “wow” profile and one that just doesn’t get a response?  You might be surprised.  It isn’t fancy degrees or experience with big-name companies.  In fact, what catches my eye is something that could be working for everyone with a profile on the site:  Personality.

Most of the profiles I see on the eWomenNetwork site and other sites really don’t give me a sense of who the person is.  I don’t get a sense of personality.  I don’t grasp what they can do to make my life better.  There’s no clear explanation of how their product or service makes some kind of transformation for their client, if they even describe their product or service.

On the other hand, there are some profiles that I’ve seen out there that would make a wonderful introduction if they were a keynote speaker at an event, but they don’t show the benefits for me as a reader that would make me want to contact the business owners.  I might walk away feeling, “Wow that person has won a lot of awards and they must be very important and they’ve really achieved a lot.  Good for them.”  But it doesn’t make me want send them an email because I don’t see what they’re going to do for me.

So the first thing in making your profile magnetic to the type of clients that you want to attract is to truly make it personal with your passion for your subject.  This is where you become focused on benefits and not just features.

If you give me a list of bullet points that name your products, you have given me a list of features.  If you give me a list of bullet points about how I will feel or what will be better in my life after I’ve used your product or services, you have given me a list of benefits.

You want your profile to be benefit oriented so that the person reading down through your profile can hardly wait to get to the contact information because they’re saying, “I want one of these.  I want this in my life.  I want to make those changes.  Wow.  How do I get it?  Where do I sign up?”  They’re not going to feel that urgency to contact you if your site is all about you.  It’s got to be focused on what’s in it for them.

Your profile has to be passionate.  It needs to be personal.  One way to make your site more powerful is to share what got you started in this business in the first place.  What did you want to do better?  What did you want to change?  What did you set out to do or how do you make a difference?  That needs to shine through your profile.  Infuse the profile with your passion, and with the benefit that the reader is going to get out of working with you.  If you do this, your profile will stand head and shoulders above most of the profiles, not only that are on eWomenNetwork, but on all of the online groups.

Your profile needs to have some other very basic, very valuable information.  It needs to have your name and your company name, as well as an email address that you check frequently. Make sure that you have your phone number and your website listed.  Have a good, professional photo that makes you look friendly and welcoming.

Now moving down into the body of your profile, think “benefit oriented.”  Think about the problems that you solve for your clients or what your product does to make the people’s lives better who buy it.  Focus on what they get out of it as opposed to what you might want to tell them. They want to know what’s in it for them.  Think about your benefits more than your features.

Let your passion shine through and help us see you as a person.  So many of the profiles out there are so bland.  They’re so lifeless.  There’s just nothing energizing about them that makes us read them and go, “Wow.  I want to meet that person.”  They’re just boring.

I’d also suggest that your photo be fairly recent so that if someone meets you they’ll recognize you. I just had to renew my driver’s license and I guess that’s the state’s way of making sure that you’re not forever sixteen.  Make sure that the photo makes you look good and is a professional and recent photo.

Spice up your profile with a link to a business-related video you’ve posted to YouTube, or an audio greeting.  Create a link to a free download on your web site to give people a reason to click through to your home page.  When they request that freebie from your website, now they’ve opted in, which gives you permission to stay in touch with them. Give them a reason to get in touch with you now.

Your profile is the first step toward getting to know all of the fabulous women who are a part of eWomenNetwork.  Make the most of your eWomenNetwork profile so your ideal prospects and potential partners will be attracted to you.  Don’t be shy about finding other members whose profiles attract you and introducing yourself to get the conversation going.  You might be surprised at what can happen!

Join Gail Z. Martin 6.7.11 at 1:30pm CST on Success Institute to learn more about “Working the Room: Six Figure Tips to Maximize Your Networking”

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Can’t Stop Thinking About … Why Staying Focused Is So Important

Guest Post by Sherrin Ross Ingram

The ability to remain focused and not be distracted is one of the most overlooked and underdeveloped skills necessary for consistent goal achievement.  However, in a world where multitasking is said to be instrumental to success, staying focused for an extended time on any task may seem next to impossible. That’s because you are likely bombarded everyday with a tsunami of emails, phone calls, text messages, meetings, and the everyday demands you subject yourself to. Most of these are unimportant and all are taking up valuable mental energy that should be dedicated to executing the details of your daily action plan.

Not staying focused may be costing you everything you desire and deserve: achievement, success, wealth, quality relationships and your health.  Those who are focused and consistent are the ones who achieve desired results sooner than later. That’s why improving your ability to stay focused is a core success skill that you want to proactively develop.

Ask yourself these power questions:

  • Am I making significant progress or completing the most important tasks every day
  • Are my current efforts producing the results I desire sooner than later?
  • What would it mean to my career, my business, my income, and the quality of my personal time if I learned how  to stay focused on my most important tasks until they’re completed… in spite of distractions?
  • Am I truly ready to enhance my performance and accelerate achievement of my most important goals?

If you are serious about consistently getting the most important things done everyday, then join me on the eWomenNetwork Success Institute’s Tele-Session, May 31st. I’ll be revealing some of the most powerful principles and strategies available for staying focused, including:

(1) The single most important tool that will get you back on track from a mental distraction within seconds every time and how to use this tool correctly.
(2) The #1 most overlooked reason why most attempts to consistently focus fail and the strategy that will help you overcome it.
(3) The five guiding principles that exponentially enhance your ability to stay focused.
(4) The #1 myth about staying focused and how to avoid falling victim to it.
(5) How to combine the five guiding principles and power strategies to create a customized strategic plan to consistently stay focused.

Don’t waste another minute working harder and smarter without the power of focus working for you. This small investment of time and money to learn some of the most powerful strategies for staying focused and consistently getting the most important things done will reap huge rewards for you now and in the long run!

Original Post from Can’t Stop Thinking



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What is a #Hashtag?

On Twitter, hashtags (#) have become a favorite tool for conference and event organizers.  They provide a way to track topics and breaking news.  As more and more incredible business owners and entrepreneurs register for the 11th Annual International Conference & Business Expo, we want to provide you with easy access to Conference updates, trends, topics and each other!  The hashtag for the 2011 eWomenNetwork International Conference is #eWN2011, and utilizing it in posts on Twitter will make your communication easy to share with other Conference attendees.

Introduce yourselves to new friends and followers by using  #eWN2011 in your tweets.  Take advantage of the opportunity to connect before you arrive in Dallas, TX.  Want to let everyone know what you are learning and who you are meeting while you are at Conference?  Be sure and include the hashtag #eWN2011 in your Tweets! We love to RT (retweet)!  Follow us on Twitter @eWomenNetwork.

Tip:  Did you know that businesses can search on hashtags that are specific to their target markets and begin conversations on Twitter?  (http://www.search.twitter.com)

This Conference will provide an unparalleled opportunity to grow and expand your business, knowledge and network.  You can follow the conversation on Twitter or on the Conference homepage at http://www.ewomennetworkconference.com.  #eWN2011 is registered at Tagal.us:  http://www.tagal.us/tag/eWN2011.  Be sure to connect with eWomenNetwork on Facebook and YouTube.  Get social @ #eWN2011!  We can’t wait to meet you!

*Hashtag photo by jeffisageek – Flickr



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Branding: The Architecture of Success

Guest Post by Star Ladin

When you think of your brand what comes to mind? The color of your logo, the beautiful font on your letterhead, the new picture you just put on your website? These are all important elements of your brand but what about your branding? You may be thinking they are the same thing, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  When I tell people this I usually get a blank, puzzled look followed by, “What is branding?”

Excellent question!

“Branding” is the equivalent to the architecture of a building. It is the strategy, the thinking and the plan behind what you are doing with your business. Think about it like building a brand new house from the ground up. Before you build you make critical foundational decisions like how many rooms it is going to have, how many square feet, and if it will be one or two stories. You determine the point or purpose of its existence.

Similarly, branding is the necessary foundational elements that support the outcome you desire for your business and allow it to function smoothly and feel effortless. Your branding is what keeps you in alignment with who you are and your bigger purpose as you share your gifts with the world. For your brand to attract the client you desire and share authentically what you offer and why you do what you do, you must build the foundation first. Your values, mission and passion are your branding and keep you in alignment.

Your brand is the visual you present to the world. If this was your home it would materials such as brick or stucco, color of your paint, type of front door. The logo and design that share your authentic message with the world is part of your brand, like the icing on the cake. When the face on your business is in authentic alignment your audience will feel it and respond to it.

Are your branding and your brand in alignment? Here are three exercises to get there:

1. Write Your Story

Everyone has a story. When you share it, you are sharing your branding. Your story is the foundation of what you are and how you came to this point due to the choices and tough decisions you made along the road of life. This story is full of examples that will bring to the surface your authentic self and the values you hold close and live your life by.

2. Define Your Top Five Values

Once you define your values, decisions become easy. Why? Because when you approach a the decision-making process with clarity of what your values are it becomes very black and white. If something does not align with your values it is a no. Defining your values will help you to be clear and focused on what you will and will not tolerate.

3. Define Success

When you define it you can own it. In order to achieve goals you have to set them. Ask yourself:

  • What is your bigger yes?
  • What values must be present for you to feel successful?
  • How would honoring those values impact your success?
  • What are you committed to?
  • What two or three things could you do right now that would most impact your success?
  • What two or three things are you doing that have no relevance and impact on your achieving success?
  • What are you willing to give up?

Join Star Ladin on Success Institute 4.26.11 at 1:30pm CST for “Success On Your Terms”

Original Post from Star Marketing Media.


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