Saturday, January 30, 2010

Go, Gaga, Go!

If you are hanging out Sunday evening, be sure to catch the Grammys (some highlights here) to take in the new Digital Diva: Lady Gaga (pictured in typical form). Her debut album has generated four No. 1 songs.

Always a fan of both Madonna and Fergie, it appears that Lady Gaga will soar past them both with her ability to go beyond just selling records and CDs to encompass everything from merchandising, touring, clothing design and makeup deals. She's got big time global appeal. More important, she sure can sing and perform stunningly!

Watch her. Don't miss her opening act with Elton John which is rumored to be the Grammy highlight. Looking for inspiration and creativity? Lady Gaga will deliver. She can teach us a thing or two about boldness and expressing ourselves -- whether through entertainment or entrepreneurship.

More here. Song clip here. Video clip here (McDonalds is advertising on it -- I'm lovin' it).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leap of Faith is Paying Off

Lauri Jo Bennett (pictured) recently quit her teaching job to open a canning business in Southwest Georgia that specializes in salsa, jellies, and green tomato pickles. In just a short time, she is selling product in 16 states. It's her dream job that's employing three others, and now she's preparing to meet with a national retail chain trying to sell her product.

Read more about Lauri Jo's journey here and visit her company website: Lauri Jo's Southern Style Canning, LLC.

Photo credit here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy For Your Business

Here’s a primer on how to create a winning social media strategy that takes the world by storm.

It involves your ability to quickly cover the five W’s:

1. Who – who are you trying to reach (friends, clients, old school pals)?
2. What – what are you trying to accomplish?
3. When – when do you want to make this happen (this year, first quarter 2010, in your lifetime)?
4. Where – where will it occur (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or all of the above)?
5. Why – what’s the purpose of doing this?

Read the entire article here and if you like it, pass it along.

(Full disclosure: Verio is a client.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Never Too Late To Start a Business

JoAnn Cardin (pictured) is 75 years young and has opened a new consignment business in Leachville, Arkansas. She named her new shop Twice Around Treasures. Here's what she has to say about it:
"This is my first time in retail and it is the first time I have owned my own business," she said.

The is making plans for the future but now has mostly clothes and shoes for all members of the family and a large variety of purses.
Congrats to JoAnn! Read more about her business here.

Photo credit (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can't Get No Job Satisfaction. What About You?

Not just women, but Americans in general, continue to grow increasingly unhappy at work. This is a long-term trend that should be a red flag to employers, according to a report released January 5th by The Conference Board.

We've been on this trend for women since 2003 with our Escape From Corporate America article published by the very same, The Conference Board.

The report, based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, finds only 45 percent of those surveyed say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61.1 percent in 1987, the first year in which the survey was conducted.

"While one in 10 Americans is now unemployed, their working compatriots of all ages and incomes continue to grow increasingly unhappy," says Lynn Franco, director of the Consumer Research Center of The Conference Board. "Through both economic boom and bust during the past two decades, our job satisfaction numbers have shown a consistent downward trend."

Read more about it here.

What's a woman to do? Hmmmmm, ever thought about starting a business? You've come to the right place!

Chart credit: The Conference Board

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Spontaneous Innovation

My latest post for the American Express OPEN Forum:

If you like, hit the thumbs up button at the bottom and the Tweet button at the top!

Many thanks.

P.S. Two posts in a row featuring adorable babies!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Age Is Never a Barrier In Fulfilling Your Dreams

Dara Torres (pictured), five-time Olympian, mother of a 2-year-old daughter (also pictured) and the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, recently answered an 'age' question with simple confidence: “I’d be 41. When you hit the water, the water doesn’t know what age you are.”
Torres admits she returned home thrilled with her effort, and she also realizes what it means for middle aged America. “If it helps anyone else out there who is in their middle-aged years, and they put off something they thought they couldn’t do because they were too old or maybe thought that, because they have children, they can’t balance what they want to do and be a parent, then I’m absolutely thrilled,” she says.
Read more about Torres here and how she inspires people of all ages to strive toward their personal best.

It's never too late to fulfill your dream and start a business. Think of it this way, "When you strike out on your own, the world won't know what age you are!"

Friday, January 08, 2010

Clear Your Path in 2010

Sometimes all you need in life is a clear path to move ahead in the world.

The photo (click on to enlarge) is taken outside my home in the gangway. We have a table set up year round that holds all sorts of things such as potted plants, lakeside rocks and seasonal items like the little snowman on a bicycle (pictured). You can really appreciate just how much snow we received in Chicago this week. I unburied the cyclist and wiped out a path for her!

Clear your path in 2010.

Photo credit: Laurel J. Delaney, the official Escape From Corporate America blog

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Someone Says No. Don't Let It Stop You

I am a huge fan of the Chicago Reader and traditionally the first Thursday of a new year they publish a magnificent photo collection better referred to as "1,000 Words: Our Annual Photo Issue." We were featured once -- remember? I made a point to pick up a complimentary copy at my local 7-Eleven so I could go through all the inspiring photos taken by ordinary people like myself who have an interest in capturing life at its best.

But this entry is not about that. It's about another equally inspiring story -- not photo -- by gifted writer Deanna Isaacs that I happened upon concerning entrepreneur Roberta Brown (pictured) and how she gets gigs (and food) for her piano business. Roberta is an octogenarian and a lifelong Chicagoan.

The title says it all:

How to Get Gigs

Roberta Brown not only plays the Walnut Room at Macy’s for free—she bought the piano.

My favorite part of the article which you absolutely, positively must read for the sake of truly understanding a "calling" or "passion" when it grabs hold of you and you can't shake it no matter how hard you try. That's Roberta with her piano playing.

Why just look at this comment from her. It's so gripping ... so compelling ...
Brown says she'd been playing at Sunday brunch before Macy's bought the store. After the purchase the brunches went the way of the Field's name, but she wasn't going to let that stop her. "My art is my life, and my life is my hobby," she says, "and whatever I want to do, I do."
Be inspired. Read the entire article here.

Photo credit: Lloyd Degrane (amazing photographer!)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010: Ring in the New Year with a Splash of Entrepreneurship!

Happy New Year! It would not feel like a new year unless I headed over to my neighborhood Polar Bear Swim New Years Day at Pratt Avenue and the lake in Rogers Park, Illinois. And that I did with hubby along (after he finished a 5K race earlier in the day in Lincoln Park -- man it was cold -- but he finished in impressive record time).

Let me set the stage for these photos. I wrote about this tradition a year ago today here and today's weather was no less challenging than last year: 10 degrees with a wind chill of 3 degrees below zero (a little bit of a wind so if you look closely at the photos, you'll see the waves).

All I can say is no guts, no glory and that applies not only to these folks jumping into icy cold waters who want that glorious feeling but to all of you who keep thinking about starting a business but don't do it.

This year, muster up your guts so you can have your glory too in 2010! Start that business. Surprise yourself and everyone else around you. You can do it. We're counting on it.

As you review these photos,
smile :-),

DREAM big,
be bold,
TAKE THE SPLASH into entrepreneurship!

Wishing you a new year, a new YOU, a new decade -- all filled with promise and opportunity that includes a new business start up!

Photo credit: Laurel J. Delaney, the official Escape From Corporate America blog!