I only had 20 minutes…

I had 20 minutes to prepare a 1 minute business pitch. I was at the She Leads conference in NYC just last week and was chosen for one of these coveted spots.

I’m walking you through those 20 minutes and how it felt when opportunity knocked in an urgent time frame.

Minute 1-5 was complete confidence. Here we go, let’s do this!

I started to jot down what I knew I needed to include: My company name, the problem we solve, why to choose us and a solid call to action.

At minute 5 I felt a little more pressure and even began doubting some of the things I’d written down. I need a story in here, this sounds generic.

Keep in mind that this opportunity was only offered to a few of us at the event. We had to write the pitch during our lunch break (so you know I missed the awesome buffet) and was too afraid to run to the restroom, so I was uncomfortable all around.

But, exposure like this is big. By minute 6…Hey, suck it up and keep going.

I spent another 10 minutes writing, trying to be as succinct and powerful as I could, and the last 4 or so practicing, so I’d come off prepared and not staring at my notes.

The time came. I was sitting next to a woman who has going after me and she said, “Is your heart pounding as strong as mine.”

I said, “It sure is and it should be. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be committed.”

I pitched.

120 people in the room.

5 media representatives.

I did a lot of things well and I made a few mistakes.

Feedback was mixed.

You really know your stuff.
Not a strong call to action.
You needed a story.

The opportunity was fantastic. It gave me the chance to get advice from people that listen to pitches all day. It opened up new doors for me, as the next time I get offered a chance like this, I’ll be that much stronger.

Practicing. Learning. Improving.
Working ON your business. It never ends.

Every one these days is running a mastermind. At SSC, we are in our 9th year of masterminds and every time my amazing group of clients comes together, the results are eye-opening.

In fact, this week is our fall retreat for some of my existing clients. Don’t worry if you missed out on this one, just email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and I’ll let you know about other opportunities to come together with dynamic business women.

We pull leaders together, we collaborate, we grow, we change.

We show up and we continue to make a difference.

If you had to write your business pitch in 20 minutes and present it in front of over 100 people with 5 media experts, could you do it? If the thought gets you sweaty and nervous, let’s chat.

You can do this. Don’t miss out because you aren’t focused in.

Commit to the journey

“Dream big. Accomplish bigger.”

– Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress of Success

I had the honor of listening to Joi speak this past week at the 11th annual Women in Business: Making Change power breakfast to support Dress for Success.

If you know me, you know I’m not a breakfast person. I don’t eat eggs. Gasp, I know. So paying for a ticket to a breakfast event turns into one really expensive cup of coffee or tea BUT also turns into a morning full of inspiration and motivation.

Every time I get away from my desk, my screen, my phone and sit down in a room full of powerful and tenacious women, I can’t help but leave with a smile.

The overall message from the event centered around committing to the journey. Whatever journey you may be on. If you are an entrepreneur, if you are working your way up the corporate ladder, if you are in a career transition, it’s all the same. Stay the course.

Amanda K. Johnson, a woman who had participated in the Dress for Success program, spoke at the event about how a “no often turns into a yes”. She relayed the story of how she worked with Habitat for Humanity and when year two came around, she applied and was denied. This “no” turned into other opportunities.

She is smart, tenacious and currently working on her MBA in her industry. She works in the construction industry, typically a male-dominated field and she wants to see women feel empowered to step into positions in contracting.

The 20/20 movement was brought up several times, which is a national campaign to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020. A fantastic movement and if you aren’t familiar with it, you can read all about it here.  Amanda wants to see 50% participation from women in 2020 in the construction field.  

Last week I talked about business “competition” and how we are really just partners for one another as we all go through obstacles and triumphs.

This event again reminded me what we can do together, as women, when we work together to put our talents into the world and believe in ourselves.

If you want a support system in place as you commit to your entrepreneurial journey, as you commit to leading your sales team, as you commit to creating a new life, please reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s start today.

SSC clients share their amazing success stories

What a summer! Our series on women leaders was so fun to write. And I thought the best way to end the series would be to feature a few Slater Success Mastery clients. These four women have graciously opened their hearts and shared a little about their journey.

 

“I had a regular corporate job, was moving up the ladder, everything was going fine, and then 11 years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. That made me look at the world differently and I realized what was important in life. It’s not what you have, it’s who you have and how you can make a difference in this world. Since that time I got divorced and started my own business. I am now a very, very happy person who sees the world with shining eyes. I’ve gone on cruises to Greece, bicycled through Hungary, rappelled down two buildings in Philadelphia and gone dog sledding in Canada. Why? Because I can! My business is booming. I love that I provide value to other businesses out there. I am a mom to awesome kids, a role I love, and life is good.”

-Amy Andersson, Owner, Price Turner CFOs

 

“It was never an easy road. I was born with a spinal deformity, an invisible disability. I have two children with Tourette’s Syndrome and my mom deals with various health problems. I feel like these challenges were given to me because I can handle them. I am worthy of the life I’ve created. I spent 17 years in the corporate world. I left what some would call a dream job (great salary, working from home) to find MY dream job. It took a lot of courage and support from those around me, people like Ivy, for me to take that step. She believed in me and the fact that I’ve been able to create a thriving 6-figure business in a short amount of time is testament to the work of coach and why I’m in this line of work myself.”

-Emily Golden, Mentor Coach & Affiliate, Accomplishment Coaching

 

“I left Washington DC three years ago to come to New York City. It was the scariest thing I ever did. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t have a support system. It opened me up to a whole new world. I am most proud of this current chapter of my life, because it has given me the chance to carve out my own definition of womanhood. I come from a large family and a tight-knit community. It was hard to find my own identity at times. Creating my own business has given me leverage to do what I love to do and redefine my own story.
This chapter is all about creating my story in the city of my dreams, traveling to 10 countries, pursuing my current love of yoga, going to Broadway plays when I want and enjoying the freedom to live a life of which I’m proud. I’ve written two New York Times bestsellers, written with noted celebrities, artists, musicians and I pinch myself sometimes, thinking whose life is this? And then I say, this is my life. I get to own it, love it and love it with no apologies.”

-Leah Lakins, Founder & Editor, Fresh Eyes Editorial Services

“I’m excited about my new life as an entrepreneur. The corporate world was not lighting me up anymore after 20 years of watching the disconnect between manager and employee. I knew there was something else I was meant to do. I could help people. I could do something better. I could make people want to show up for work on Monday morning. As long as you keep showing up, great things happen. Only losers quit. I believe we are all winners, it’s why I named my business the way that I did, and how we reach our dreams is our own unique story.”

-Kathy D’Agostino, Owner, Win at Business Coaching

She created it, millions would wear it…

It was 1974 and a young, Belgian-born designer had been living in New York for a few years trying to begin a career in fashion.

Then, it happened.

Her name: Diane von Furstenberg.

Her creation: the wrap dress.

By 1976, she sold 5 million of those iconic dresses.

She was at the top of the world and women everywhere were sporting this flattering, gorgeous dress.

Her brand, DVF for short, did have it’s share of challenges. Furstenberg even left the fashion world for years and had to relaunch her brand and regain her reputation.

She has said she was more interested in just diving in, than creating a plan, and that caused problems.

Of course, something I always talk about. Make sure your vision and plans are solid and then work the actions daily to accomplish the ultimate goals.

Her relaunch was successful and Furstenberg is still a powerhouse in the fashion industry.

If you are still looking for a great summer read, pick up Furstenberg’s memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be (A New York Times Bestseller). It’s inspirational and fascinating reading about her childhood, her early years in fashion, her time as a princess (yep, did you know about that?) building a global brand and even beating cancer.

In 2012, she launched a children’s line with Gap and I read a quote that really stuck out to me.

“The minute a little girl is born, she is already the woman she will be. So to empower a little girl is to empower the woman she will become.” -Diane von Furstenberg

What a great message! All the young women in this world deserve strong role models in all industries. Corporate, fashion, engineering, art, music, culinary, you name it. This is the heart of Slater Success. Of course, Diane von Furstenberg’s quote also brought me back to birthing my daughter Alexandra 25 years ago and thinking of the woman she has become.

Furstenberg is a huge supporter of other women and empowering women and we can all learn a lesson from her. Support the amazing women around you and believe that anything is possible.

If you are want to talk about your dreams and how to get there, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

The one and only…Oprah

Oprah. Winfrey.

One amazing woman and my focus for this week’s women in leadership summer series.

Oprah was born into poverty as the daughter of a Mississippi single, teenage mother in 1954. (Actually, her birth name was Orpah, from the Book of Ruth in the bible, but it was misspelled and mispronounced so much that Oprah stuck).

She suffered sexual abuse from relatives, was made fun of in school because of her clothing and received more care from her grandmother than her own mother.

After a very troubled childhood, she began to thrive in high school, becoming an honor student and working for a radio station her senior year.

She started her journey in media, becoming a news anchor, a co-host of a local talk show, and eventually the host of a Chicago morning show hurting for ratings. When Oprah took the lead, the show skyrocketed into popularity and thus, The Oprah Winfrey Show was born in 1986. If I am doing my math correctly, WOW at 32 years old, this is a women who earns your respect and a role model for us all. Her show ran until 2011, a wildly impressive 25 years.

She has interviewed some of the biggest names in the world, runs a successful book club, started her own magazine and of course, OWN, her television network launched in 2011. She’s starred in movies and produced a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

She’s also raised and donated millions of dollars to charitable programs with causes like girls’ education and relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

Her list of accomplishments is by far one of the greatest lists by any woman this century. Her beautiful and caring personality, her desire to give back and help others and the powerful role model she is for all women is truly inspiring.

Oprah has so many great quotes, but here are two of my favorites…

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is surely an example of those words. Her success is unmatched. Remember that quote as you prepare to get to the the next level of your business and career.

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey

I love this!

Surround yourself with support. If your support is building a business, support at home, with family. I look at my dry cleaners as part of my support team. With my busy speaking and traveling schedule, Josh always has my back. If you need someone to talk to about your business, please reach out.

And share with me on the SSC Facebook page your favorite Oprah quote!

I want to be friends with Barbara…

I think we’d get along really well, both New Yorkers, both women, moms and business owners.

I’m fascinated at her background, growing up in a family of ten children that dealt with financial struggles and how she went on to become a millionaire investor and real estate mogul.

I’d love to chat with her about the 22 jobs she had before she decided to open a real estate office at the young age of 23 and how she grew it to a $6 billion dollar business. Even more impressive is that she started that business with only a $1,000 loan.

I want to pick her brain about leading a team, creating an empire, speaking at huge events, writing successful books, investing in new ideas, being a television personality and of course, her amazing style.

So who is this friend I’d love to have?

I’m talking about Barbara Corcoran.

She is a woman I was super excited to talk about in this summer series of women leaders. You know her from Shark Tank, and I encourage you to look up more information about this dynamic woman.

If you have Twitter, follow her. Her tweets are so often motivational and powerful messages. One of my favorite quotes comes from this lady…

“Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.” – Barbara Corcoran

This is a great message to remember whether you are a company of one or a company of thousands. Listen to your gut.

Barbara wasn’t handed success, she earned it. And a big part of that is because she listened to her own instinct time and time again. She has been quoted in articles saying that she knew she didn’t want to work for anybody else, so becoming an entrepreneur was the answer.

I think it’s safe to say she made the right career choice.

Whether you work in your home office alone or lead a large corporate team, remember why you started doing what you are doing. And listen to yourself when you need to make the next big decision. If you want someone to talk to, I’m here. Schedule a call.

I’ll leave you with another great quote from Barbara…

“Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.” – Barbara Corcoran

Believe it’s there and make this week count.

Their powerful words and their brave actions…

As America celebrates the fourth of July, I thought I’d focus on a few powerful women in American history for the continuation of our summer series on women leaders.

I was astounded reading the accomplishments of so many women from our past and I wish I could share them all. If you have a moment, just Google a list of women who shaped America and lose yourself in the awesomeness of these ladies.

I wanted to share about three of those women today and share some of their words.

Harriet Tubman is the definition of courage and strength. Born into slavery in 1822, she later escaped and guided many slaves to freedom using a network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. Just last year, the U.S. Treasury Department was discussing a plan for Tubman to become the new face of the $20 bill.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman

Amelia Earhart is a prime example of taking action on your dreams. She was born in 1897 and would go on to become the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She wrote best-selling books about her travels and set many aviation records.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
– Amelia Earhart

Eleanor Roosevelt is an example of standing up for what you believe in. She was born in 1884 and was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. She spoke out about roles for women in the workforce, as well as the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans.

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Roosevelt and Earhart were actually good friends. Roosevelt even getting a student permit with aspirations of learning to fly. That didn’t happen, but the two remained close. I’d love to have been a guest at lunch with these two women, wouldn’t you? The conversations they must have had!

All of these women inspire me as a business owner and a woman in 2017.
They were the true trailblazers.

Be courageous, take action, stand up for what you believe in.
Simple advice, but not always easy to follow.

Tell me about your female idol from American history!

She is amazing and you need to watch this today…

For the summer months, I’m doing a series of newsletters focusing on women leaders of past and present that I truly admire.

Sheryl Sandberg is my focus for this week and the timing is perfect, as she’s been in the news lately as someone rumored to have been on the wish list to become the new CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. Sources say she will be staying put at Facebook, where she has been the COO for the past nine years. She’s been on many companies wish list to become their CEO because she is truly dynamic and amazing.

In a recent Bloomberg article I was reading, it was noted that at Facebook she has helped create a $445 billion company and has “become a leading voice on what companies need to do to boost diversity and improve their culture.”

Her resume is nothing short of amazing:

  • Harvard graduate
  • Former chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton
  • Former vice president of global online sales and operations at Google
  • Current COO of Facebook
  • Founder of Leanin.org (Lean In Foundation) which is a non-profit helping women to reach their goals
  • Founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world
  • Named in 2012 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world
  • Ranked as one of the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine
  • First woman on the board at Facebook
  • Author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and co-author with Adam Grant of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
  • Speaker, her TED Talk from 2010 (see below) has over 7 million views

And so much more.

In 2015, Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly and she has speaks openly about the pain of her loss and her life after this tragic event. The couple have two children together.

She spoke about her husband’s death, as well as building resiliency, practicing gratitude, celebrating always, focusing on the moments of joy and so much more in her commencement address for the University of California Berkeley’s Class of 2016 and I encourage you to watch her speech right now.

It’s extremely powerful and an excellent reminder to be grateful for everything in our lives.

If you have been a follower of SSC and our message, you know our strong beliefs in a gratitude practice and consistently celebrating, yes, even the small things.  

She also gave a fantastic TED Talk in 2010 about why we have too few women leaders. Although this speech was given six years ago, are there still too few? I know I have my thoughts and ideas to change this, what are yours? I welcome your feedback.

Watch it here. It’s a must.

If you need inspiration in your life today, spend some time getting to know this very remarkable woman. She has vast knowledge to share and you will learn so much from her. I know I have.

 

War Paint and the amazing women that changed the world of beauty

I love the theatre. I’m sure my passion for dance and performance plays into that and I recently saw the amazing show, War Paint.

The show tells the story of two beauty industry icons and rivals, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.

Both women founded cosmetic companies in the early 1900s and found massive success on their journeys.

Women leaders today can take a look at these dynamic women and gain inspiration and confidence that they can do whatever they dream.

Rubinstein was the oldest in a family of eight girls and made her way to Australia from Poland in her early 20s. She began working on a beauty cream formula, after her own mother had given her some to take on her trip, and by 1902 she was opening her first salon. She figured out that different skin types required different products and that was a huge discovery for that era.

Next it was on to Paris, where a few of her sisters worked with her and they were supporting their family back in Poland. Make-up was developed there and soon she found herself opening a salon in New York City, where her name and brand became very well-known. Her husband even wrote advertisements for her. Her business survived through The Wall Street Crash and two World Wars. She was a pioneer, always a step ahead in the world of beauty. She wasn’t afraid of trying innovative ideas like creating hormone creams or beauty products for men. She loved the industry and she made it her life’s work.

The youngest of five children, Florence Nightingale Graham, (later Elizabeth Arden) was born in Canada to a family that struggled financially. She eventually moved to New York and worked with her brother in the pharmaceutical industry. This is where she learned about skincare.

She opened The Red Door Salon in 1910 in New York City and would ultimately open salons internationally, in places like Paris, Rome and Hong Kong. She helped women see that make-up was not for the lower class (a thought at the times) that it was beautiful and ladylike, if applied correctly. The “makeover” was a concept started in her salons. Her business survived the Great Depression and at the top of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.

I encourage you to read more about both of these women.

The takeaway is simple. They had dreams, they had ideas, they had information to share and at the time, it wasn’t always information people were ready to hear. They were so ahead of their time and many of the beauty techniques we enjoy today, came from the research and creativity of these powerhouses.

If your idea seems outlandish right now, think about these women.
If you don’t think you can do it, think about these women.
If you’re scared, think about these women.

They were able to build empires at a time when women leaders were scarce. We live in a different time. This is our time.

Embrace your power as a woman and lead. Make decisions. Try new things. Fail. Get back up. Try again. Someone might be writing a newsletter about you and your company in 50 years.

We can’t accept this any longer

Women. We’ve been in the news and on the news a lot lately. There’s so much going on in the world and no matter your political views, one thing is certain…we all should be treated equally in the workplace.

Think about your own life.

Have you accepted a position at a lower pay grade than you expected because you feared confrontation?

Have you taken on a client at a lesser rate because you didn’t want to negotiate?

Have you decreased your prices because you weren’t confident in your value and worth?

We earn less and we accept it. And that has to stop. It has been said that women entrepreneurs even pay themselves less than male entrepreneurs. It is time to step up and charge our value, pay ourselves our worth and negotiate jobs at what we deserve.

Confidence is usually the factor holding us back. We have a little voice inside of us that tells us not to be dramatic or not to take things too personally. We need to tune that voice out and instead start using our real voice and be heard.

As women, we are natural nurturers, which sometimes leads to us giving more than expected and not stepping up and asking for what we are worth.

We own our responsibilities.

Our work ethic is strong.

Our dedication to what we do is fierce.

We control our own destiny.

As we stand up individually, we will be standing up together. Understand and ask for your value. You are worth it.

If you’re struggling with value or finding your way as you navigate changes in your business, reach out to me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com. Let’s have a conversation and talk about it.

Head on over to the SSC Facebook or LinkedIn page and tell me something you commit to doing in 2017 to stand up and get paid!