Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ain't no glass ceiling here, only stars to reach for

In San Antonio Express News

This is a wonderful article so if you need a boost, you'll find it at "Nearly 40 percent of all business owners are women."

In a hurry? Below are the highlights:

• There's no glass ceiling at Crystal Ward Darby's home-based public relations consulting business in Leon Valley. Darby works as hard and as long as she pleases. She takes on only those projects that interest her.

• ... where success is measured by a feeling of contentment and not an artificial bottom line designed to please shareholders.

• "If I'm happy when I wake up in the morning, that's good enough for me."

• "There came a time where I knew that I needed to call my own shots and be my own boss," ... "I knew I could do this because my son, who was 18 at the time, told me I could do it."

• [Laurel here ... "Yeah and my favorite part!"] -- Darby is one of a rapidly expanding breed of women -- those leaving corporate headquarters and venturing into self-employment.

• From 1979 to 2003, the self-employment rate for women increased 33 percent, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Women now represent almost 40 percent of all business owners.

• More than 10 million female business owners employ 19 million workers and generate $2.5 trillion in annual sales, according to the Center for Women's Business Research.

• Between 1997 and 2004, women-owned businesses in the nation's top 50 metropolitan areas grew at almost twice the rate of other firms in those areas.

• [Laurel here ... "Another great comment!"] -- "But it's accurate to say that more women than ever before are stepping up, taking that risk of going out on their own."

• "Just say what you need, and we can find a woman who does it," said Margot Dorfman, who heads the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. "Business is no longer just a man's profession."

• [Laurel here ... "Check this out too!"] -- The reasons so many women are choosing to be their own bosses are as diverse as the women and the businesses they run. Many are fulfilling lifelong dreams. Others simply want out of the corporate rat race. Some know they can do it better than incompetent bosses they've suffered.

• "I love every part of this business, and I mean that. I love to see a plan work," Salvatore said. "It's beautiful, like a birth."

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