Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Millionaire Women Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D.

In Thomas J. Stanley's new book, "Millionaire Women Next Door"

Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday and was given Stanley's latest book as a gift. I have not had a chance to read it yet, only scan the front/back covers and table of contents. It looks very interesting and I want to share the back cover's most poignant statement:

"Most Americans are not free. They are chained to their paychecks ... The women profiled herein will not tolerate such an existence. They are a different breed. They are free. They are cultivators of wealth and satisfied with life. They are in control of their own destiny."

Ring true with many of you?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Women-Owned Firms Find Triad To Their Liking

In MSNBC (The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area)

I like the ending best on this feature:

"It is getting so much easier for women -- there's so many more resources for us to start and grow our own business. It's just going to be phenomenal."

But if you wish to read the entire article, visit: Women-Owned Firms Find Triad To Their Liking

Friday, September 24, 2004

"Translating Ideas Into Success" ... this one's for all of you!

In Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Before I move on to a speech that Joseph Lehman delivered to open the inaugural Asian Resource Bank, I want to first thank all of you who emailed me personally on the "Glass Ceiling" article. As it did for me, the essay resonated with many of you. And always feel free to post your feelings, beliefs or opinions whenever you like on this blog. That's what it is here for. But if you feel more comfortable contacting me on a personal basis (ldelaney@laureldelaney.com), that's fine too. Just glad you all liked the piece.

Now, on to the speech. I am posting this because Lehman talks about many of the characteristics (optimism, perseverance and so forth) necessary to become a good entrepreneur or business owner. The speech is entitled, "Translating Ideas Into Success," and many of you might be thinking along these lines -- whether it be by leaving your corporate job to start a new business or to "focus" on an idea that is brewing in your head -- this talk is for you.

In particular, I am highlighting the section on entrepreneurship for I find it liberating to read such a thoughtful piece:



The next ingredient for translating ideas into success is entrepreneurship. I don’t mean just talking and writing about it. I mean being an entrepreneur.

To really shift the window of political possibility, we have to get out of the purely academic mindset, where the goal is writing reports and studies. Our success is not measured by how much paper we push out the door. We succeed only if we actually shift policy in the right direction, and to do so requires an entrepreneurial approach.

Successful entrepreneurs are focused. They have lots of ideas, but they figure out their comparative advantage and spend their energy there. They don’t run in all directions trying anything that seems interesting.

This means that entrepreneurs are planners, but not in the sense of stifling creativity and flexibility. A good entrepreneur makes plans that avoid both rigid bureaucracy and unfocused, free-wheeling frenzies of activity.

Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. They don’t just try to copy what works in other countries — they become the experts at applying freedom ideas and overcoming obstacles in their own countries.


To read the entire speech, visit: Translating Ideas Into Success

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Women and The Glass Ceiling

In LeaderValues

I was contacted today by LeaderValues for permission to publish a couple of my articles. In reviewing their web site, I stumbled upon this provocative article written in 1998 by Helen Peters of Hagberg Consulting Group, who specialize in the assessment and development of executive leadership and organizational effectiveness. The article starts out like this:

• Recent research indicates women's management style, which is centered on communication and building positive relationships, is well suited to the leadership paradigm of the 90's. However, the strategies used by women to reach mid-management levels are preventing them from breaking through the glass ceiling. There are specific things women must start doing and stop doing if they want to move into the executive suite. The research is of obvious importance to women managers, but has implications for men as well. To be successful, both men and women must be able to get bottom-line results through people-oriented leadership practices.

In 1971 I got my first real job. I quickly learned many of the realities of life, among them that women could not be managers. We were not worth investing in because we would just get married, get pregnant, and quit. We were too emotional. In fact, once a month we would do something that remained undefined, but was assumed to be totally unacceptable. Most importantly, we would be taking a good job from a man who really needed it, and by implication, deserved it. 

Times changed ...

It goes on further to report that progress up the corporate ladder will require women to do five things:

1. Start focusing energy.

2. Start taking risks.

3. Stop getting mired in the details.

4. Stop rescuing and mothering.

5. Stop making things right or wrong.

I couldn't help think that the five steps apply to both making progress up the corporate ladder and owning a business. Interesting.

For women who are still trying to make it in the corporate world instead of charging out on their own, this is a worthwhile read. The full article, regardless that it is six years old, can be found here: Women and The Glass Ceiling (1998)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Hey, hey ... women's businesses exceed overall growth rate!

In Business Journal Phoenix

• A study of the top 50 metropolitan areas by Wells Fargo and the Center for Women's Business Research found that women-owned small businesses grew by 30 percent from 1997 to 2004, compared to 10 percent growth for all firms over the same time period.

And here is the best point made in the article:

"Even during uncertain times, innovative and determined women business owners are doing their part to ensure this economy continues moving in the right direction," says Sharon Hadary, Executive Director of the Center For Women's Business Research.

To read the entire article, visit:
Women's Businesses Exceed Overall Growth Rate

Here's another good feature about it by Matt Quinn at Inc.:
Women-owned Firms Growing Quickly in Big Cities

Monday, September 20, 2004

Women Execs Tell of Climb -> but no word of jumping into entrepreneurship

In Enquirer

This article is all about climbing the corporate ladder and when you read it, you might ask yourself: Is it worth it?

To read the entire article, visit:
Women Execs Tell of Climb

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The New Mothers of Invention! Phenomenal article!

In Businessweek

What a spectacular article! I am so excited that I'll just mention a couple of highlights quickly:

• J.E. Bedi researched female innovators for the Lemelson Center at The Smithsonian Institution, and what she found is summarized in her eye-opening paper, Exploring the History of Women Inventors. According to Bedi, during the 20th century, women patented an ice-cream freezer, a transmitter for torpedoes, a feeding device for amputees, and Kevlar, which is used in bullet proof vests. Can our children name any of these women? Are their contributions taught in schools?

• Today, women have their names on approximately 10% of all patents -- a tenfold increase over 1910 (when less than 1% of all patents were by women). Despite this increase, the gender gap in entrepreneurship continues to widen. In 2003, two men were involved in entrepreneurial activities for every woman, according to the research by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

• Despite this gender gap, entrepreneurial activity among women continues to grow. The number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has increased by 14% in the last five years, according to the Center for Women's Business Research (CWBR). Today, nearly half of all privately held businesses in the U.S. are women-owned.

• Clearly, today's female business owners are a positive influence on future women entrepreneurs.

To read the entire article, visit: The New Mothers of Invention

"Yes, Ambition Is Good, But How You Display It Can Get You in Trouble" -> But not if you are an entrepreneur!

In The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/04 (subscription)

One of my favorite WSJ columnists, Carol Hymowitz, wrote a really terrific piece, "Yes, Ambition Is Good, But How You Display It Can Get You in Trouble," and the reason I am bringing it up is because the ending is right in line with this blogger:

• "Sharon Mosse, who heds Strategic Marketing Group, a New York marketing consultant, feels freer to assert herself and gain recognition as an entrepreneur than when she worked in corporate settings. She used to be chief marketing officer at Barnes & Noble and before that a marketing executive at Verizon and Brooks Brothers. "Ambition to me means trying to do the job right, to solve problems and come up with ideas -- but sometimes that was interpreted as coming on too strong," she says. "Now I'm being hired to provide a senior point of view, and I'm expected to talk freely and broadly about my opinions."

"Entrepreneurship allows you to be who you are, have a voice and be as ambitious as ever!" -- Laurel

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

eBay chief says women have opportunities on auction site

In Detroit Free Press

Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay Inc., will be giving a talk in Detroit tomorrow (9/15), returning to where she used to work -- FTD. com in Southfield. She was interviewed for this article and here are a couple of snippets she talked about relating to women and women-owned businesses:

• "And we know that 48 percent of those users are women," said Whitman, a 1979 Princeton University graduate and Harvard MBA who worked at Procter & Gamble, Bain & Co. and Walt Disney Co., in addition to FTD.

• Her message to Wednesday's audience will, not surprisingly, focus on the heavy use of the eBay auction site by women and women-owned businesses.

• "What eBay offers women," Whitman said, "is the opportunity to decide what kind of time they want to put in, what kind of products they want to sell, and it allows them to customize their work around whatever else they have going on in their lives.

• "Another thing that's interesting about eBay is that it's a completely level playing field because you are totally measured by the quality of your product and the feedback other people leave for you."

• "People were florists because they loved flowers, because they loved the product, and they didn't want to work at IBM. They wanted to be their own boss. That's a lot of what I see at eBay as well," Whitman said.

So Whitman totally supports women breaking free and doing their own thing!

To read the entire article, visit: eBay Chief Says Women Have Opportunities ...

Monday, September 13, 2004

When you are sourced 'OUT,' entrepreneurship becomes 'IN'

In Fast Company

• ... And so the next week, Bronstein walked into a room to find her old coworkers on one side and the new group from India on the other. "It was like a sock hop where everyone's lined up against the wall blinking at each other," she says. "People were trying not to cry." In an attempt to lighten the mood, her boss said she would like to introduce the old staff to the new staff, while the VP of engineering chimed in with familiar words. "We're depending on you to help this company succeed," he said. Bronstein spent the next four weeks training her two replacements who then went back to India - -two people whose lives were suddenly bettered in exchange for one whose life had taken an unexpected turn for the worse.


• Since leaving WatchMark (now called WatchMark-Comnitel), Bronstein, who made $76,500 plus bonus, has been out of work, making ends meet with unemployment and by cashing out her 401(k). With both of those gone, she's turned to selling her collection of antique women's compacts on eBay. "It's the difference between hopeful and hopeless," she says. "If you're just laid off, you can tell yourself that the economy swings back and forth, but if it's outsourced offshore, it ain't coming back. It still exists, but it just exists in another place. The IT industry in the United States has gone from being a very high-level, well-paying industry to being very low-paying sweatshop labor, and that's an inexorable trend."

• Bronstein's story is increasingly common in a global economy where labor is crossing borders almost as freely as capital. Starting decades ago with low-skilled manufacturing jobs in basic industries, followed by textiles, cars, semiconductors, and now, services, the nimbleness of the world's economy has allowed us to reduce costs by moving production to wherever it's least expensive. The benefits to our economy -- in increased productivity, lower prices, and greater demand for American products -- are touted by corporate America as the only way to remain competitive. "This is the next iteration of the global economy," says Atul Vashistha, CEO of neoIT, an offshore advisory firm. "The story is what would happen to these companies if they did not go offshore."

To read this fascinating article, visit: Into Thin Air

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Alaskan Women At Work

In Daily New-Miner (Fairbanks, AK)

Alison McDaniel is one of thousands of female entrepreneurs in Alaska, contributing more than a billion dollars in revenue to the state's economy each year, according to Sam Dickey of the Small Business Administration's Alaska office. Her story, along with Vikki Solberg's and Leeann Thomas's, is just like all the rest on why she decided to start her business and what led to her success:

• McDaniel attributes her success to determination and knowledge. She also thinks that as a woman she takes into consideration things that most men don't, like the importance of shrink wrapping a cream-colored couch (she runs a relocation company) to assure that it won't be discolored during the move.

• Personal freedom is one of the primary motivations for becoming a business owner. It is the freedom to make decisions. "I found being the ultimate decision-maker inspiring," said Leeann Thomas, owner of the Triangle Club. "I would encourage any female to give it a try."

For the complete article, visit: Women at work

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Women's Business Development Center, Chicago Annual Conference September 8-9 at Navy Pier

In the Chicago Sun-Times

I hope to see all of you corporate escape artists turned entrepreneurs over at the Women's Business Development Center Annual Conference September 8-9 at Navy Pier. I plan to stop in sometime between 10:00-1:30 p.m. today, September 8th. Look for me at the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) booth for that is where I will be hanging my hat. I serve as WPO's Chicago chapter facilitator (two chapters ... one downtown and one in Schaumburg). See you there!

Here's more info on the conference:
Conference in Chicago Targets Veteran Female Business Owners

All the best,

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Corporate Comforts

In Entrepreneur

This article is actually about three years old but I stumbled upon it while conducting a search on another project. It is right in line with the mission of this blogger. See what you think but I will give you three significant short paragraphs from the piece:

• She notes that women entrepreneurs tend to be so focused on building their businesses, they often wear blinders. "Corporate women need to see a variety of things to manage the process," says Semidei-Otero. "Because they must interact with other divisions, they must negotiate and present information to different people at different times."

• And the relationships are mutually beneficial. Women business owners help imbue their corporate counterparts with the ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT increasingly needed to succeed in corporate life, says Carol Nichols, JPMorgan Chase senior vice president and Texas statewide manager of commercial business banking. "I think women entrepreneurs are real leaders in terms of having new and different ways to do business and be successful," says Nichols.

• The connection between women entrepreneurs and those in corporate America can be powerful. It's in the best interest of both groups to ensure the other is strong, vibrant and fully realizes its potential.


To read the full article, visit:
What Can Women In Corporate America Offer Women Entrepreneurs?