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

She saw it all on the train that day…

I talk about having a vision for your business all the time. It’s important to know where you are going, what the next steps looks like and what actions you need to take to get to that vision.

An amazing example of vision, and the next focus in our women leaders summer series, is the story of J.K. Rowling.

Most of you hear that name today and are transported into the world of Harry Potter. Books, movies, theme parks, merchandise, beloved characters that changed our world forever. In 2004, Forbes named Rowling as the first person to become a U.S.dollar billionaire by writing books.

But how did it all happen?

Rowling was an avid reader and writer from a very young age. She has said that writing is all she ever wanted to do. The vision of Harry Potter came to her while she was sitting on a delayed train when she was 25 years old. She has said in interviews that she was flooded with ideas in a moment and had no pen! She ended up drafting the rest of the series (all 7 books) over the next five years.

At this same time, she divorced from her first husband and was acting as a single mother to their small child. She was on state benefits and was writing anywhere she could find space, such as small cafes.

I was watching an interview Rowling had with Oprah a few years ago and she said she was walking away from the cafe where she was writing the first Harry Potter book and she heard a voice of sorts tell her the difficult thing would be getting the book published, but if it did get published, it would be huge. She went on to say that “you’ve gotta believe, haven’t you?” She said she didn’t have much self belief at the time, but this ONE thing, she did believe in.

That is truly goosebump inducing! And so important for us to remember.

Have a vision.

Believe in that vision.

Go after that vision.

J.K. Rowling is one amazing woman and I encourage you to read more about her life and all the charity work she does for causes and organizations.

If you are ready to develop your vision, take action on your vision or realize your vision, reach out to me at 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.

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.