Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fun, Girlie Stuff

It's all about escaping ... and many of these women know how to do it in the coolest of fashion.

Writer and creative director Anne Ream Girl360

Award-nominated women cartoonists -- what extraordinary talent here:

Ellen Forney, "I Love Led Zeppelin" (Fantagraphics)

Danica Novgorodoff, "A Late Freeze" (Self-published -- pictured above)

Renee French, "The Ticking" (Top Shelf Productions)

And even the BIG guys branch out:

BarbieGirls BETA


Friday, July 27, 2007

10 Lessons Learned on Entrepreneurship

Following up on our previous post, I decided to elaborate on No. 21: One key lesson learned. Here are 10 that were shared:

1. We only have one life, hold your dream and make it count.

2. Get the right people to walk the rocky road with you, let the nay sayers go fast.

3. Believe you really can do this well.

4. Dare to be different, never give up.

5. Don’t stop when you get the first contract. Keep selling.

6. Be personally committed to deliver.

7. If you don’t like what you are doing do something about it; it is your life -- only you can make it work.

8. Make certain everyone in the team has completely bought into the vision and are pulling in the same direction.

9. Know your business and what you are talking about.

10. Be professional in everything you do from knowledge to skills to appearance and performance.

Source: National Business Awards (UK) sponsored by Orange. White paper: Observed Characteristics of Outstanding Women in Business.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Observed Characteristics of Outstanding Women in Business

The recently published white paper Observed Characteristics of Outstanding Women in Business found that businesses run by women contribute £70bn to the UK economy and employ more than a million.

The paper which has just been published by the National Business Awards was prepared from a review of the applications of all women finalists of the National Business Awards 2006.

Not surprising, the UK is lagging behind the US when it comes to the level of female entrepreneurs emerging.

Here's a look at what the report covers:

1. Women's representation.
2. Business ownership.
3. Female attitudes to entrepreneurship.
4. Rationale for starting new business.
5. Businesses between 1 & 2 years old.
6. Percentage of managers who are women.
7. Percentage of businesses with NO women managers.
8. Gender gap index.
9. Barriers to women's advancement.
10. Advancement strategies.
11. Importance of success factors.
12. Motivation.
13. The advantages/disadvantages women face in managing a business.
14. Whether it is EASIER as an ENTREPRENEUR woman or a CORPORATE woman!
15. Dealing with over or covert sexual harassment issues.
16. Managing work/life balance issues.
17. Managing and maintaining personal relationships.
18. The Essential characteristics of a successful businesswoman.
19. Advice to a young woman setting out on her career.
20. Other countries/cultures where it is EASIER for women to operate.
21. One key lesson learned.
22. Conclusions (includes a listing of all the National Business Awards finalists!)

And be sure to catch all the helpful resources at the end. What an impressive white paper which can be downloaded here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mom Knows Best About Entrepreneurship

After all, she is one.
With a mother like his, no wonder Richard Branson became an entrepreneurial dynamo. Virgin CEO Richard Branson says he definitely inherited traits from his spirited mom, Eve.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Do Women Start Businesses?

I covered many of the reasons why women start a business in my Conference Board article which led me to create this blog but Patricia Greene at Babson College asks the same question again along with another critical one:
1. What should be different about education to encourage women to start their own businesses?

2. And so my continuing question to those of you who are starting a business - why are you doing this?
My answers:

1. a. More women role models teaching courses or guest lecturing. When I completed my MBA, out of 31 classmates, I was one of three women in the program. Out of 16 professors or lecturers, two were women. How dull that we could only hear a man's perspective on the business world. What were we, invisible? And by the way, I was the only entrepreneur in the program at the time. All my fellow classmates were employed at BIG companies ... from Abbott Laboratories to Kraft to Motorola. Every time I showed up for a class, I thought, "How boring is this?!" Seriously. All I had on my mind is that I was going to eventually show the world what I was made of and do great things in life. I could not wait to get my MBA, move on and start making things happen. So, in hindsight, I would have preferred more women professors teaching some of the courses and way more successful women business owners guest lecturing. Further, the MBA offered at the time did not include one course in entrepreneurship (in line with Patricia's comments about "everyone was being developed and educated to work in a large, read that very large, organization.") Can you imagine?

b. Offer entire programs in entrepreneurship! Many universities and colleges currently do now. But bring in the women -- whether Ph.D's or successful women business owners -- to teach and guest-lecture!

2. Why I run a business is because I never could imagine working for someone else. When I did, it tormented me that a person who I had no respect for gave me orders or direction and I thought, "This is not going to last very long!" I knew I could do things much, much better on my own and went off to start my own business with exactly that attitude. So mindset is very important in the process of actually starting a business and after that, I think the "change the world" mentality kicks in to fuel the mindset. Beyond that, there are the thoughts of creating your own destiny, doing your own thing, making things happen but the very last thing on my mind was making a ton of money (and now all you read about is how important it is to do what you love and the money will follow -- but back in 1985 when I established my company -- I didn't know any better!). More important than anything to me was being who I was -- true to myself -- and constantly creating value for others to enjoy.

Read Patricia's commentary here. It's fascinating. She has such a great mind.

But what about for you? What prompted you to start your business? Please weigh in here because I noticed that Babson's site does not allow for comments. Correction: They do allow for comments so feel free to comment wherever you see fit. One more correction: They allow comments but they go straight to the author's email box!

P.S. After reading Patricia's commentary, I'm thinking about starting a reality television series for women entrepreneurs! Anybody interested?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What Women Want

An older article yet still relevant. Many women are still tip-toeing the balancing act.
As they approach the top, the pull between work and life — caring for parents, raising children, making time for a spouse — seems to tug harder at women than at men. Balancing the two often means shortchanging one or the other.

Some women do manage that balancing act, although they remain relatively rare.
CFO magazine article found here.

And the article was found at Break the Glass Ceiling.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Boardroom, business, babies or all?

The big house, the beautiful garden, lots of kids, a great job or business, a loving partner, ideal friends, a family to be proud of ... and still be sane? I mean, be who you are, pursue your passion and still be happy?

Some folks, as in this article, don't think so. What do you think? Can you really balance a career or running a business with raising a family?

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney (7/4/07).

Friday, July 06, 2007

Still Celebrating Our Freedom

WSJ's Simona Covel gets tips from Ms. Lexy Funk, CEO of Brooklyn Industries Inc, about tips for small companies looking to outsource their e-commerce. It's worth a minute. Be sure to click on: Outsourcing.

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney, Chicago, IL (7/4/07)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Celebrating Birthday 3 and 231!

Happy Birthday No. 3 to Escape From Corporate America (my photo)!
Happy Birthday No. 231 to America (my husband's photo)!

Now go out and create your own kind of freedom.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Good, Hearty July 4th Reading

Happy Independence Day but we will be back with you soon because on July 4th, we have two celebrations: America's 231st birthday and Escape From Corporate Amerca's 3rd!