Monique Hayward on CNN

Monique Hayward, entrepreneur, owner of Dessert Noir Cafe & Bar, and guest blogger here will be featured on CNN today at approximately 12:00 noon EST, 9:00 am PST.

Live Event: Keep Your New Year's Resolutions: How to Launch a New Career Despite the Economy

Barnes & Noble and Annemarie Segaric, founder of The Career Changer Company, have partnered to bring you an event you won't want to miss. If you are wondering how you're going to change careers or find that new job in this economy you will want to be at this power-packed lunchtime workshop.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Barnes & Noble - Lincoln Center
1972 Broadway at West 66th Street, NYC
(1 Subway at West 66th Street stop)

$25 registration fee includes free copy of Step into the Right Career. Special Friends & Clients discount: enter FRIENDSANDCLIENTS during checkout and take $5 off. Also, if you RSVP before 12/31 you can take an additional $5 off! Just enter YEAREND during checkout.

Register at:

During this laser focused lunchtime event you will learn:

* the one thing you must have when changing careers so that you don't need to have lots of money saved up.
* the three steps you can take to get started right away on your transition even if you have no idea what you want to be doing in the first place.
* how to decide between pursuing a passion or just getting a job (especially if you are unemployed right now)
* the key to standing out from the crowd in a tight job market especially when you don't have the listed experience in the first place.

Sign ups have already begun but because of the room size seats are very limited so grab yours now! We expect this event to sell out very quickly.

It will truly be the best hour you could spend. I hope you'll join us

Three Things You Should Know Before You Begin a New Business

by Annemarie Segaric

I really wanted to share some recent lessons I learned that are very important if you are anticipating any kind of transition.

 If you are serious about wanting to upgrade your life, do work you love, and finally live a life of purpose you must be willing to do a few key things:

1. You must be willing to take risks.

I recently made some pretty big financial investments that I know will help me take my business to new heights.

I can tell you though that until recently I wasn't willing to invest in my business in such a big way because it truly meant spending money before I had it.

I realized though that in order to have the money in the first place I needed to be willing to risk it and go for the gold even though I had no guarantee. You see in my heart I knew it was the right decision, I knew my business and I were meant to grow.

So I asked myself if I knew in advance that I was going to be successful, what would I be willing to do to make it happen. The answer was clear--I'd do whatever it took to make it happen. I would go for it and take the risk--despite the economy!

T.S. Elliot said it best:
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

2. You must take action no matter how scared you are.

I have found myself stuck on many occasions during my transition from Corporate America to the world of entrepreneurship.

I was either lost in my search for the right career, confused and scared about being in business for myself, or frightened to face the facts about what I needed to do to really live my dream of helping others (like you!) find their purpose so they could do work they love while providing for my family and being at home with them.

Each and every time I was stuck and scared the only thing that would create results and greatly reduce the fear has been action.

Anytime I took my fear and asked myself, "Ok, if I could take one great step to address this concern, what would it be?" and then actually took the step, I made tremendous progress AND had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

I'm constantly learning that fear is normal and is there to spur me into action. Same is true for you. See fear as the kick you need to get going.

3. You must surround yourself with like-minded people.

I recently had lunch with two great friends who also run their own businesses. Just being around them and their amazing energy reminded me of how grateful I am to have them in my life and how important it is to be a part of a community of people who support you and want to go where you are going (or are already there). It feels fantastic to connect with others who can relate to my experiences and inspire me to keep growing.

I also had a conversation with my best friend about how scared I was feeling now that I had taken these huge risks. She reminded me that this wasn't the first time she heard me express fear like this and everything ALWAYS worked out in the past.

How lucky I am to have such a great friend! What a relief it was to hear her say this since of course I didn't remember any of this:). Who do you have supporting you in your life?

There are more factors influencing success when you are in transition but these three lessons are non-negotiable when it comes to making a lasting change.

Annemarie Segaric is a nationally respected career change coach, motivational speaker, and the author of, Step into the Right Career: 107 Tips to Change Your Life While Still Paying the Bills.

Coach Monica Thakrar on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Guest Host Elena Camp interviews Monica Thakrar, President and CEO of Joyful Soul Coaching, a coaching firm that specializes in holistic coaching focused on body, mind, and spirit alignment. Monica's mission is to help people live joyfully and authentically by finding their true passions and taking the risks to go after them. She believes that when people's actions are in alignment with their true heart's desires they can achieve their greatest dreams.

Monica's own journey began when she began to soul search to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up so that she could live more joyfully. Externally she looked successful, but inside she knew she was not living her best life. She always wanted to help people and she found Newfield Network (or it felt like it found her!). She realized that the holistic approach to living was the most effective way of living a balanced, connected, and joyful life.

Before becoming a coach, Monica worked in the Financial Management
Program at General Electric. She also worked as a Manager in BearingPoint's Organizational Change Management group for over 7 years. As a consultant Monica worked with Executives and mid-managers in large public sector, commercial, and international organizations to prepare them and their organizations to adopt large scale technology or process changes.

Monica is also a graduate of the ICF certified Newfield Network
coaching program as well as is a certified Soul Coach through the
Denise Linn Soul Coaching Program. Monica has worked with numerous
coaching clients in order to live their most joyful lives possible.

How to Make Positive Changes in Your Life

by Deborah A. Bailey

What are you attracting? Years ago a career coach told me that I had to work on becoming "irresistibly attractive." I didn't completely understand it at the time, but now I do. When we hear the word, "attractive" we usually think of physical appearance. That's what makeovers usually focus on, don't they? Changing the outside and expecting that the inside will just fall into place.

If you don't think you deserve a better job, a rewarding career or a successful business, how can you achieve it? How can you reach something if you don't feel you can have it? If I don't believe in my business, then it's not likely that I'll attract clients who want to work with me. It's also not likely that I'll be successful if I don't believe it's possible for me.

Even though I'd been dreaming of my own business for years, once I started it I didn't completely believe in it. I wondered how I could compete with more experienced entrepreneurs, and how I could attract people who saw value in what I could do for them. What I have learned is that if I don't think my work has value, I'm going to attract people who don't see the value either - and I certainly can't build a business that way.

Instead of complaining about what you have, think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want a new job, or to return to school or move to a new place? What steps are you taking to make those things happen?

1. Write down your ideas for the future. If you're going back to school, what courses do you want to take? If you want to move, where do you want to go?

2. Look at where you are now and write down the things you'll need to move forward.

3. Consider your everyday thoughts - do you go from believing you can reach your goals to being discouraged? You won't be able to move forward if you don't believe that that you can.

If you want to change for the better, then you have to believe in it. You have to be there on the inside long before you see the outside results.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. Her fiction work includes a short story collection and a novel, available on 
For more information, visit


How to Market Your Business with an Ebook

business desktop
by Deborah A. Bailey

Less expensive than producing a "traditional" book, electronic books (or "ebooks") exist in various formats, including MS Word (or Word compatible) files and Adobe Acrobat pdf files (one of the most popular formats).

Or, if you publish your ebook on an online bookseller's site such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, your document can be converted into .mobi and .epub formats.

Promote Your Business

Looking to promote your products or services? Consider using an eBook in your promotions.

For instance, a caterer might offer books such as "Entertaining for Large Parties at a Small Cost" or "Perfect Wine Pairings" and distribute them to prospective clients. She could also reformat the content into individual articles and submit them to specialized publications.

An organizer might select topics such as "How to Set up a Home Office" or "10 Steps to Eliminating Clutter." She could feature these books on her website and create passive income by setting a fee for downloads.

Someone opening a coffee shop might market her business with titles such as "How to Brew the Perfect Cup" or a "Guide to Global Coffees."

Define Yourself as an Expert

Want to define yourself as an expert in your field? Use an ebook to share your expertise.

A house painter who finds that he's always being asked about painting might write books such as, "10 Things to Know before Hiring a Painter" or "Three Top Painting Techniques." He could market these books on his website, and offer them when meeting with prospective clients. He can market himself as an expert, while creating an additional source of income. Even do-it-yourself painters could benefit from his tips!

Coaches and consultants can share tips that relate to their area of expertise. The books could be sold  to clients and prospects, or used as opt-in incentives for their lists.

Re-purpose Your Articles 

Have a group of articles you've already written? Compile your articles into an ebook, with each article as a separate chapter.

Use your ebook as a manual for classes or talks that you give. Distribute your ebook as a "textbook" for your online classes. Are you involved in coaching or mentoring? Make your ebook available on your site as a download for your clients or students. Need to create instructions for a product you're selling? Put it into an ebook.

Use your ebook as a "thank you" to clients, or as an incentive to prospective clients.

Don't underestimate the power of an ebook. You can use it for marketing, income, building writing credits or establishing yourself as an expert. Whatever your objective, use an ebook to get exposure for your business while sharing your expertise.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of several fiction and non-fiction books, and creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly podcast. For more information, visit

Learn more about her services for coaches, speakers and consultants who want to publish a book to stand out in their field, create income streams and showcase their expertise.

Photo credit: CreateHer Stock


Nurture Others By Nurturing Yourself

by Mariana Cooper

There is a great deal of attention placed on Giving to others during the holiday season. And this is totally appropriate. However this year may be a little bit more of a challenge as we watch those around us become consumed with fear, worry and concern about what is happening with the economy.

Perhaps you yourself are struggling, wondering about your job, your business, your finances, your home. Our relationships are more strained than ever as everyone searches for some "relief" from the daily drama.

Everyone is searching for some energy and encouragement. Yet it seems that we are ALL stretched and don't have a lot of extra energy to give to others as much as we may like to. This is truly a time where it is important to Nurture Yourself.

Self nurturing is the best gift that you can provide for yourself AND for others. Because when we are feeling at peace, rested, well hydrated, nourished and centered we have the energy to be a good listening ear for others or to just allow others the space they need to go through whatever they are going through.

We all want to help but now more so than ever before it is important to refrain from trying to rescue others, fix their problems or fill in their blanks. Actually we are insulting them when we attempt to solve it all, because we are robbing them of the growth and learning that is there to make them stronger and more importantly to bring them back to their Intuition and higher self.

Remember that when we face challenges, the best place to turn for nurturing is to Spirit, our Higher Selves, our Intuition. Life's obstacles are always Spirit calling us forward to a higher version of ourselves!

This week, instead of listening endlessly to the woes and problems of others, politely end the conversation and take some time to regenerate and nurture yourself.

Set the example for your friends and family of the calm, centered, focused person who goes with the flow and truly honors their own self care. It may be a bit of a challenge at first and feel like you are abandoning your friends but you are not!

The best way to nurture your loved ones is by allowing them to have their free will to choose and be responsible for their own happiness. And for you to take the time out to pay some much needed attention to yourself!
So indulge!

Mariana M. Cooper, Aha! Moments, Inc. Intuition Expert and Mentor. For more information, products and services go to:

5 Ways to Increase Your Revenue Now

by Ali Brown

While the rest of your friends and colleagues may be hemming and hawing about how bad the economy is, smart entrepreneurs are quietly calculating not only how to thrive in these times but dramatically increase their incomes as well!

And it's not complicated either. For example, when I coach with clients, one of the first things we do is sit down and look at their current income streams -- what they are, what kind of money they bring in, and with how much effort.

From there, we look at several ways to increase their revenues from these streams alone. For the purpose of this article I'll share five with you.

1. Raising your prices/rates.

Most entrepreneurs - and especially solo-preneurs - grossly underestimate what we marketers call "price elasticity". That is, how much they can raise their prices and/or rates without losing business.

Warning: This is completely contrary to what you think you should be doing right now -- lowering your fees!

One of my Platinum Mastermind members, a Canadian coach who works in a particular niche, resisted raising her rates for months. Finally, she agreed to raise them and even DOUBLE them. She found that not only did she not lose business, but she gained better clients as well. Now she's making the same money in half the time, leaving her many more free hours to develop information products for passive income.

For a year or two I was selling my "Boost Business With Your Own Ezine" system online for $197. It sold pretty well back then, but I realized the information contained was worth much more. Ever since I raised the price to $497, it now converts even more sales! The key here is to track and test for yourself.

2. Up your transaction size.

Ladies, don't you find it amusing when you're at a fast food joint, doing your best to get a healthy salad, and the teenager at the counter brainlessly asks if you'd like fries with that? This is called "up-selling", and it's an easy way of increasing your transaction size.

I just returned from a trip where my hotel automatically billed me a "resort fee" of $20 a day. Not a huge addition to my room rate, but look at how that adds up for the hotel: If they have 500 rooms, they make an additional $10,000 a day, and that's an additional $3.65 million each year!

You can do this in your business too! Use your shopping cart system's up-sell feature to offer additional products or services that complement what the customer is buying. Ideas: a special report, resource guide, workbook, audio program, or laser coaching session. Or offer a special "bundle" price if they purchase more than one product or service at a time. And lest you think these tactics are only for widget-sellers, I've seen this work for everyone from cosmetic surgeons to accountants.

3. Increase your net.

I'll admit it took me several years after I first started my business to understand the important difference between gross profits and net profits. Today I track every product and program in my business separately for both income and expenses - including administrative time. While all this tracking takes time and effort, a quick report instantly tells me which offerings are truly bringing in the big bucks... for keeps.

A few ways of increasing your net are:

* upping your selling price
* lowering your expenses for marketing, sales, and product/program delivery
* culling products/programs that don't bring in the profits you want
* spending more time marketing and selling the products/programs that DO bring
in the profits you want!

4. Up your customer value.

Generally, when you look at your entire customer or client base, there will be a percentage who are your BEST customers and clients. They adore you, buy whatever you come out with, and are happy to pay your fees. This goes along with "the 80/20 rule" -- a good 20 percent of your current customers or clients likely brings you about 80 percent of your revenues!

Once you identify this portion of your list, why not create special offerings just for them? Either at a higher price point or delivering a more exclusive level of service. And, very important: Analyze who these folks are, and fine-tune your marketing to attract more of them!

5. Fine-tune your frequency.

You've been seeing many membership/continuity programs around these days, and it's not just because they are a wonderful way to deliver information or products. It's because smart business owners realize they can gain multiple sales from ONE purchase transaction instead of going back and trying to get folks to buy from them again and again.

Here's how it works: Jane or Joe buys into your monthly membership or widget-of-the-month club, and that one purchase gains YOU recurring income. You saw the start of this trend years ago with book-of-the-month clubs and today it's the most popular way to sell beauty products via infomercials as well. Proactiv, Youthful Essence, and many of those beauty products sold on TV enroll you into an autoship program. (I should know, because I've tried many of them!)

So think about how you can develop one continuity or membership program to continually funnel new members into - versus having to sell your prospects over and over.

First, Just Be Aware.

If you are just working day by day with your nose to your desk, or with clients nonstop, you won't have time to even be aware of your current financial situation, let alone opportunities to improve it.

Step one is taking a half day or so to review your current income streams as I described above, and look for ways to apply these five revenue boosters!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: These strategies are just a portion of what Ali will be helping her new Millionaire Protege Club members apply in their businesses. Watch your inbox for a special invitation come end of year - don't miss out on learning more!]

© 2008 Alexandria Brown International Inc.

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown publishes the award-winning 'Highlights on Marketing & Success' weekly ezine with 36,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at

Time Management for the Entrepreneur

by Deborah A. Bailey

It’s the end of the day and you’re feeling overwhelmed because you haven’t accomplished everything that you set out to do.

Not to mention the fact that now there are more things to add to your “to do” list. If you’ve ever had that experience then you know how frustrating it can be. Where did the time go?

Even though we all get the same 24 hours in a day, we might not be using that time as efficiently as we’d like. A friend of mine, who’s also an entrepreneur, says she’s only getting a couple of hours sleep a night because she’s trying to get everything done. It’s not unusual for her to go to bed at 5:00 am, only to have to get up again at 8:00 a.m. to start working again.

Though we can have good intentions when we start out, it’s so easy to get sidetracked with time wasters. If you find yourself wondering why you’re not getting things done, it’s time to change how you’re managing your time.

Time Management Tips

  • Don’t answer every call as it comes in. Screen your calls and return the lower-priority calls at a later time.
  • Close your email program. Reading and replying to emails all day long is a major time stealer. Choose two or three times during the day to check your mail.
  • Keep a list of things to accomplish for the day and stick to it.
  • Take time for breaks in order to keep your energy level up.
  • Working for hours without clearing your mind will make you less productive.
  • If you work from home establish boundaries. Don’t get stuck on the phone with friends or family who feel that if you’re at home you’re not working.
  • If a potential client contacts you, arrange a time to meet. A consultation that you think will take 15 minutes could end up taking a large chunk of time out of your day.
  • Create systems to handle repetitive, day-to day tasks.

If you plan out your day and create systems to stay on track, you’ll be able to accomplish more. At the end of the day you can look back on all the things you’ve completed and not be frustrated by what’s been left undone.

Deborah A. Bailey is writer, coach and author of several fiction and non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly podcast. Visit her site at

Photo credit:

unsplash-logoErik Witsoe


Recipe for Success

by Deborah A. Bailey

My mom usually makes pies for the holidays. This year I wrote a couple of recipes down just in case I decided to try them for myself. The reason I haven’t done it so far is because I know my pie won’t taste the same as hers. We may follow the same recipe, but the result won’t be the same. Each person puts something a little different into the thing they’re creating.

It might be a bit of a stretch to compare pies to careers, but in this case I think it’s similar. Everyone brings a part of themselves into everything they do. It doesn’t matter if there are already other people doing that work – you will bring something to it that no one else can.

During this time of year there’s always a lot of introspection about where we’ve been and where we’re heading. It’s easy to get discouraged if we think we can’t compete with people who are already doing what we want to do – or we think we are entering a seemingly overcrowded field. When I was afraid to move forward, I was always finding reasons why I should stay put. Thankfully I didn’t let any of them stop me.

So I guess it’s okay if my pie doesn’t taste like my mom’s. Her pie doesn’t taste like my grandmother’s. Each of us can add something to the mix that is uniquely our own.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. Her fiction work includes a short story collection and a novel, available on 
For more information, visit

Jerri Graham of BlueBelle Muffins on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Guest Host Elena Camp will be interviewing Jerri Graham of BlueBelle Muffins today at 12:00 noon EST.

Marketing Through a Downturn

by Monique Hayward

With my customers feeling the impact of the slow economy as white-collar-job losses mount and their investment portfolios dwindle in value, I've had to adjust my marketing strategy for Dessert Noir Cafe & Bar.

Revenue is hard to come by these days, but it's critical to stay visible in the marketplace and engaged with my customers so no one "forgets" we are still here.

In the absence of budget to launch big promotional campaigns and advertising programs, I have been implementing a low-cost marketing and PR strategy. What we’re doing differently is taking advantage of our unique selling point in the market to capitalize on consumers’ moves “down menu,” i.e., buying appetizers, small plates, and desserts at lower prices rather than high-priced entrees and large meals.

When we introduced our fall menu in October, we offered more value-oriented choices, including extending our happy hour to seven days a week, to give our customers more choices at lower price points. In November, we took this strategy another step farther and updated our menu to eliminate all the slow-selling items (“dogs”) so my staff has fewer food and beverage items to manage and can concentrate on delivering the core items extremely well.

Despite the downturn, consumers eventually get weary of all the bad news and want to treat themselves to a night out, and they will certainly be looking for a range of dining and entertainment options. This gives us a great opportunity to keep the business in the spotlight, particularly in the press. With that said, I have been focused on generating more publicity for my business on both a local and national scale to generate buzz and position myself as a small business expert on the front lines. PR gives us awareness and credibility, and while this approach is not different from my marketing strategy under normal business conditions, I have been even more vigilant about finding opportunities because they cost nothing but time and generate tremendous ROI on the back end.

PR Opportunities 

One great resource is Help A Reporter Out (HARO). PR expert Peter Shankman created HARO, a free service which connects journalists in online, broadcast, and print media with sources on a wide variety topics, including business, finance, health, fitness, and technology. Each day HARO sends registered users up to three emails, each with anywhere from 15-30 queries per email. If there's a query that you'd be the perfect source for the journalist, you answer it directly. There are several queries a week from journalists who are doing stories about entrepreneurs and small businesses. If you are not a member of HARO, you need to get yourself signed up today.

I can tell you from experience that it works! I have landed features in the Phoenix Business Journal newspaper and Entrepreneur and Restaurant Startup & Growth magazines and contributions to the BizChicksRule and Credit and Collections blogs and the Gaebler Ventures web site. In addition to HARO, I've been "hustling" for stories on my own. Recent highlights include appearances on CNN’s “Your World Today with Tony Harris,” “Restaurant of the Week” on KATU Channel 2’s “AM Northwest” news magazine show, and remote broadcast of a local TV station’s evening news program from the restaurant.

Joint Marketing

Another option that allows me to get more bang for my limited marketing bucks is joint marketing and selling with suppliers, customers, or complementary businesses. I don’t have to look far to create joint marketing opportunities, nor do I have to spend a lot of money to achieve good results. Here’s a case in point: My restaurant is located next to our town’s main movie theater, and for the Sex and the City opening in May, we collaborated with a local salon and spa, the Grand SalonSpa, on free chair massages, prize giveaways, and $5 cosmos and logged our best sales day ever.

Being next to a movie theater strengthens our value proposition as movies are still considered “cheap” entertainment and our customers have always combined an evening at the movies with a visit to the restaurant before and/or after the show. In early 2009, I'm working with a special event promotion company, Odds on Promotions, to offer a $15,000 cash prize giveaway for a promotion that I’ll do for Academy Awards season. I think I can get a lot of buzz going around this, especially if the economy remains as dour as it is now, and again, it won't cost me a lot of money.

Business Challenges

Business has always been challenging for my restaurant, as I've documented in this blog over the years. As I noted, we’ve been seeing the signs of this recession for more than a year and a half already. With the economy presenting challenges that are beyond my control, I have been forced to concentrate on the things I know I can control and marketing is one of those areas. Some lessons learned: 

Five things not to do in tough times:
1. Panic.
2. Go off the radar.
3. Compromise on service and quality and the perception of the brand when cutting spending.
4. Lose faith.
5. Lose focus. 

Five things to do in tough times:
1. Evaluate the strategy and course-correct to fit the times.
2. Keep the brand visible through low-cost advertising, promotions, and PR.
3. Take care of your best customers and engage them in a dialogue about what marketing/promotions work for them to continue to support the business.
4. Use your employees as ambassadors to spread goodwill about the business and generate word-of-mouth.
5. Use the slow periods to reflect and brainstorm new ideas when the crazy, busy times prevented you from devoting the time and energy.

There are many things you can do to keep your business visible without going broke in the process. If you have something that you're doing that's working, please share it.

Cross-posted on The Business of Being Monique

Monique Hayward is living the busy life of a late-30s corporate player and entrepreneur in Beaverton, Oregon. Owner of Dessert Noir Cafe & Bar. Nearly 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, public relations, business development, and entrepreneurship. Emerging author and speaker with first book set for release in early 2009.

Limit Yourself For Greater Efficiency

by Caroline Melberg

Part of Caroline Melberg's marketing strategies Networking for Small Business, Small Business Finance, Tools for Small Business, Traditional Marketing for Small Business

Time management. Just thinking about it makes us sick, doesn’t it? In truth, we need it. It’s necessary. It keeps us on track and makes us more efficient.

Greater business efficiency boils down to just one thing: How you spend your time. It’s the most important thing in business. Making money is good. You always want to make a profit. But if you lose revenue over a bad decision, you can always turn that around and increase your future revenue. You learn. You turn a loss into a gain. But if you lose time then you can’t get that back. That makes a time a bit more valuable than money, doesn’t it?

Small business owners are typically more strapped for time than their big corporation counterparts. Corporate executives usually have access to free training tools that help them become more efficient managers. Small business people, though we face the same challenges, are on our own. We’ve got to pay to play. Many of us feel that we can’t afford to shell out the dollars for the efficiency training, so we go on and on and on spending our time on things that don’t matter and in the process lose out on ROI. It’s one of the reasons many small businesses go down before the five year mark.

One tip I’d like to share for making your business day more efficient and allowing you get more done is this: Limitation. Grasp it.

Yes, I’m talking about limiting your activities. Let me explain:

Many of us, when we hear of the great new tool that everyone is using, rush over to give it a try. Some of us have so many social media accounts that we don’t use that if we started using them all then we’d only spend one day a month at each one, or less. Stop that!

The key to more efficiency is to learn what is truly important to your business and to focus on that. Do you need all those social media accounts? Maybe not. Maybe you just need one or two. Or maybe more, but who’s going to manage them?

There are two ways to increase your efficiency: Hire someone to handle the tasks that are eating up your time, and that costs money - although, it may not be a bad solution for some of you - or to limit the amount of time that you spend doing unnecessary things. In some cases I’d say hire someone and pay them $8-$10 per hour to handle those menial tasks that you shouldn’t be doing. In other cases, and in a lot of cases, I’d say cut out completely some of those things you are trying to do and just focus on the important ones. I’ll bet you get more done.

Online entrepreneur Caroline Melberg, "the Local Small Business Internet Marketing Guru" publishes the award-winning "Small Business Maverick Internet Marketing Secrets " weekly eZine. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, increase your sales and leverage the power of the Web to market your local small business, get your FREE subscription now at

Sharon Levy of Taking Tea In Style on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Sharon Levy is the CEO and Founder of Taking Tea In Style, LLC, which was established in 2005. Ms. Levy worked as a Project Manager, IT Specialist and Executive Assistant at several fortune 500 companies including AT&T, American Express, Merrill Lynch and IBM. In June 2007, Ms Levy pursued her dream to launch her own business and create elegant Tea Parties for organizations and individuals, and to teach Tea Etiquette and Table Manners Workshops. Her company offers private lessons as well as monthly workshops which are interactive and fun.

Ms. Levy enjoys entertaining her friends and family and has had numerous tea parties in her home. She loves the tea experience and wanted to create this exquisite and relaxing feeling for others. Her friends and family encouraged her to pursue her dream, so she moved forward to create her company.

Taking Tea In Style was also created to alleviate the stress and hassle associated with planning an event. They bring the tea shop to your location and customize it for your special event. A complete setup, serving and cleanup services are available so that clients and their guests can relax and enjoy each other. Their goal is to ensure that everyone who attends a Taking Tea In Style event will have an unforgettable tea experience.

The Day I Learned to Start Saying 'No'

by Alexandria Brown

It was the fall of 1998 when I had just started my first business as a marketing communications writer. Most of my clients hired me for newsletters, brochures, and sales materials, but I would get the occasional request for something different. At the time I was too naive to consider saying "no" to any project that didn't fit me perfectly. (Especially when I was living paycheck to paycheck.)

A perfect example of this was when a colleague named Chip asked if I could write a short script for a customer service training video. "Wow," I said. "Video! That sounds like fun. Sure thing. I'll take it on!"

Big mistake.

Sure, at first it seemed exciting. But after I got into it, I was miserable. Not only did I spend three times as many hours as I'd planned JUST on figuring out what they wanted, but I honestly didn't know what I was doing. I'd never written a video script in my life! I thought it would be simple, but it was a whole other world.

This thing not only sucked up all my time, taking me away from my best clients, but it also drained my energy and my confidence. Even worse, I couldn't take on a wonderfully perfect NEW project that I was offered in the meantime.

I felt sick every time I looked at that project folder. I lost sleep worrying that I wasn't doing a good job on it, and worst of all, my fears were confirmed...

One day Chip left a message on my answering machine that MORE major revisions were needed. Then, it sounded like he hung up the phone, because there was a soft click. But then I heard him start to talk about me with his partner (obviously unaware that his speaker-phone was still on).

At first I stopped the message from playing, because I knew I was not supposed to be privy to this conversation. But I wanted to know the truth, so I listened. My heart sank as I heard things like, "This writer doesn't know what she's doing on this... we should have hired a real video writer... I feel bad she's trying so hard, but this just isn't getting better."

I got so ANGRY!

Not at Chip, but at myself.

Here I was... an award-winning writer for marketing communications. Marketing communications! That means marketing materials. NOT training videos!

So why had I taken on that project?

A good friend of mine calls this "bright, shiny object syndrome", and it happens to many entrepreneurs. You see, we love ideas! We enjoy moving from idea to idea, and it's easy to get distracted by something that seems new and exciting.

Especially when you start experiencing success, it's as if every opportunity in the world starts falling in your lap. You have to become a master of saying "no". That was very hard for me.

But by sticking with what you KNOW you are good at, you are always confident and calm in your work. You know how to market yourself, and you know who you're marketing to! (Plus you can charge high rates with confidence.)

I've become so clear now at what I'm amazing at, what I offer, who I'm marketing to, and how I want my life to look like, that any business or life decision is crystal clear. I know exactly what to say "no" to.

(And they say for every "no" you give, a better "yes" comes along!)

So today, make a list of what you are good at, what you're confident in doing, what you want to do, and who you do it for. And then practice saying, "No!" to anything else.

You'll find that your marketing and your business will magically become easier, more enjoyable, and more successful!

© 2003-2008 Alexandria Brown International Inc.

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown publishes the award-winning "Highlights on Marketing Success" weekly ezine with 36,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at

Get Your Touch of Grace

Looking for some inspiration, a pick-me-up or a meditation moment? Visit Cheryl Richarson's site and click on the "Touch of Grace" section. Cheryl Richardson is a coach and author of The New York Times bestselling books, "Take Time for Your Life," "Life Makeovers," "Stand Up for Your Life" and "The Unmistakable Touch of Grace."

Vanessa Torres: How I Got Started as an Entrepreneur

by Vanessa Torres

I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur. It wasn't something I dreamed of or studied for. It just kind of happened.

About a year ago my fiancé decided that marrying me was not the best choice for him and so he left me five days before our wedding. In a span of six months my whole life changed. I was single again for the first time in eight years. I had to find a new place to live. I had to leave my two dogs behind with the Ex, who kept the house. I had a surgical procedure looming that I was supposed to assume would take me out of commission for at least eight weeks. A routine doctor visit turned up another, completely unrelated, fairly serious diagnosis.

And then suddenly, my job was "eliminated."

I was so devastated by all that I was already dealing with, that I could barely feel the panic of losing my job. It was actually kind of a relief to not have to "fake it" through the day anymore. My job had gotten increasingly unsatisfying, and with the joint battle of having to diffuse the overwhelming pity everyone felt for me, I was exhausted. There is some adage I can't remember exactly about not being able to panic about multiple things at the same time. I can now attest to its veracity. There is only so much the brain and body can take, and the job loss was last on the list. After all, that was just about money; I found the personal affronts far more devastating.

After a few weeks of taking some downtime and filing for unemployment I started thinking about what my next steps would be. There was a little voice in my head telling me to use my experience as a springboard. Instead of trying to pretend like none of this had ever happened, I thought about exposing it further – the opposite of what the old me would have done. The idea for came fast and stuck. At one point I decided not to ignore it anymore, but to grow something positive out of the seed that had been planted. I asked a friend and former colleague to help me build a website. I asked my friends to give me their honest opinions and strangers to share their stories with me. I started reading blogs written by other women. I started going to therapy to see if there was anything about myself that I had been "missing" all these years. But, most importantly, I joined two national women's networking groups.

The amount of support I've received from those women is the sole reason for my successes to date. Without their help (this site's Deborah Bailey included) I would never be this far along in achieving my goals. Asking for support has been my greatest marketing tool. Instead of assuming that everybody was too busy with their own lives/businesses/families to answer my silly, 101 questions, I just threw it out there and hoped for the best. The responses I got were incredible; these women answered my questions, sent me helpful links, and even offered to give me classes on web marketing and SEO applications. I've never received that kind of support and encouragement from people who were virtual strangers, but then again, I had never asked for it either. I had never put myself out there before in such an honest and straightforward way. And when I did, the help, support and encouragement was plentiful.

I stopped seeing my shrink in September. I ripped the band aid off and launched my site at the end of October. In November I voted for the most exciting presidential candidate my generation has ever known. This month, I am determined to enjoy the holidays. My surgery is scheduled for February. The second, scary diagnosis turned out to be false. The doctors - all three of them - HAD MADE A MISTAKE. Just like my ex-fiance did.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Vanessa Torres began her career as a journalist in Los Angeles. In 2007 Vanessa experienced her "aha!" moment while going through the aftermath of a broken engagement. Having not actually been married, she realized that there weren't any hard and fast rules or legal precedents established regarding a breakup with a Significant Other. Not being able to find a place where women could get support from peers – and professionals – she decided to create one. launched in October of 2008 with the support of a team of experts prepared to give women what they want and need – comforting! One of the main goals of the site is to encourage women to open up about this painful experience and share their stories in an effort to lessen the feelings of shame, rejection, isolation and depression that are so prevalent during a breakup. It's also a place to share tips, coping strategies, and even a joke or two.

Payson Cooper on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Payson Cooper was destined to make jewelry. As soon as she could hold a pencil, she began drawing tiny, beautiful pictures - always small, always neat.

As happens to many of us, Payson was side tracked from her art through school, but found inspiration and "education" through her years at the United Nations International School, the University of Wisconsin, and at the Sorbonne in Paris. Throughout these years, Payson was known for her unique artistic talent and for attracting the bling. Not only was jewelry the only thing she spent money on, but she constantly found gold, silver, and even diamonds on the street, in the sand, in buildings - everywhere.

Payson's gift sprung to life the moment she began a silversmith class at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City while desperately seeking her passion (doing everything from massage therapy and tending bar to working as a computer consultant for the City of New York). Jewelry exploded into her awareness as a form for her own creativity and she continued her studies in private schools, such as Fred de Vos' Wax Carving Studio, Cecilia Bauer Studios, GRS for engraving and stone setting, and with individual teachers including Tom Herman (Seven Fingers Jewelry) and Sam Alfano. Mastering 3D modeling software is the latest addition to the many skills she has acquired over ten years of study.

When designing, Payson follows her intuitive pull toward the curves, spirals, and lines of the natural world. And through meditation she allows inspiration to flow, creating in concert with the universe.

Payson offers her clients the opportunity to choose from her inspiring works or to bring their own thoughts and ideas for custom pieces. "The melding of two minds to create a beautiful work of art is like nothing else," she has said. "It is euphoric and exciting - an opportunity to create something greater than the sum of its parts."

View Payson Cooper's collections online at or contact her to create a unique and amazing expression of heart and soul. Payson Cooper is more than a jewelry designer - she is masterful and intuitive…and has built a reputation for distinctive jewelry that can inspire and transform lives.

Friendships, Fun and Networking

Friendships, Fun and Networking with The Twisted Sisterhood
Date: December 18, 2008
Time: 6:00 -7:00 p.m. EST

As business women we tend to focus on growing our businesses and often neglect the one thing that makes us unique - the connections and bonds we have with our girlfriends.

The vision of The Twisted Sisterhood is to inspire women to reclaim those connections. It's vital to allow space for new friendships and maintaining those we have developed over the years (but may be neglecting.)

Women network while having fun, and we have fun while we are networking! The Twisted Sisterhood encourages both, and in this salon we'll talk about the perfect marriage of both ideas.

On December 18 at 6 pm EST two of the six original Twisted Sisters will be interviewed. The topic will be friendship and fun and why it's vital for you (and your business) to nurture both.

Click on the link below to go to the registration page and to find out more details about the show.

Register here:
Cross posted from Success for Women

You and Your Virtual Assistant

by Alba Henderson

Building a website and then promoting the site can be a challenging task, especially for those with limited experience and/or time. Having a relationship with your virtual assistant can be a promising achievement for your business.

It is very disheartening to spend hours and days trying to focus on tasks that you can pass on to someone else that cares about your business just as much as you do.
Some of those tasks can be:

  • Typing a business letters

  • Data Entry

  • Emailing

  • Scanning

  • Last minute phone calls or travel arrangements

  • Handwritten Envelopes

  • Faxing

  • Mailing

A virtual assistant can complete your team of reliable sources. Get all the help you need. Virtual Assistants are an outsourcing strategy that can give you the best of solutions, time and definitely save you money.

The relationship between you and your virtual assistant can be rewarding in your personal life as well. You will be able to spend more time with your family, you will not have to impose a task on a family member whose strengths does not include your task, eliminating stress on your marriage, friendships and family.

No task is too big or small for your virtual assistant.

Alba Henderson, founder of Your Virtual Solutions, began her career as an executive secretary. Her desire to help people succeed by offering her skills in the industry. Making a business owners life easier is her goal. To help people get a handle on their business tasks. Her clients have included work-at-home parents, "solopreneurs", teachers, students, business owners, coaches, executives, churches, and other business professionals.


Publicity Tips for Entrepreneurs

desk with laptop notebook and glasses
by Melissa Cassera

Are you resolving to get more publicity for your business in 2009? In today's economy, publicity is an excellent way to spread the word about your business. As a small business owner, you have the chance to secure interviews, profiles, anecdotes and by-line writing opportunities with media outlets as big as New York Times and as small as your local daily.

Here are my Top Tips for entrepreneurs to gain publicity:


Peter Shankman is an amazing publicist, and now he's sharing his reporter contacts with you. In the form of a 3x daily free email, Peter will send around 50 leads per day from media outlets looking for sources. Not every email will apply to you, but the easy-to-read format lets you weed out the leads that don't apply, and find the ones that are perfect for you. Sign up today at

2. Don't Ignore the Little Guys

While hometown media may not reach the audience that Oprah does, media coverage in smaller outlets can lead to great things - often you will be splashed on the cover or receive a prominent story with plenty of pictures, helping to build a local buzz about your business. I've also seen these local stories grab the attention of the larger media outlets. Try your local dailies, college alumni publications, trade publications, local radio and TV stations, township newsletters and blogs.

3. Don't Rely on your Press Release

Press releases are often used as 'back up' information to your story - your PITCH is what peaks a reporter's interest. Personalize your correspondence to the person you are pitching. Let them know you are familiar with their work. Don't pitch them something they've already covered. Give them something fresh and newsworthy.

4. Find Media Contacts Online

Having trouble finding media contacts? Make a list of the top media outlets you want to be featured in and start googling. Most websites list a masthead to find editor's names. The Wall Street Journal lists every reporter's email address at the end of the story online. Use Google News - type in keywords for your industry and see who is covering your industry.

5. Create an Online Press Room

Make it easy for reporters to cover your business by creating a press page on your website. Dedicate one page featuring your contact information at the top and have the following items available for download: press releases, biography, company background, product images/description, headshot, sample interview questions, company logo, testimonials, video (if applicable), book excerpts. Post links to current media coverage you've received.

6. Brainstorm Various Angles

You can’t expect to pitch the same angle to Oprah that you would your local news station. Brainstorm angles every day that would be perfect for you to pitch. Think outside of your product or service. Can you comment on business surviving in the economy? Working with family members? Finding unusual ways to fund your business? Think of tie-ins to the economy, holidays, and other hot topics.

7. Think of Yourself as an Expert

Even if you’ve only been in business a short time, you still know more about your industry than some others. Don’t think of publicity as being ‘egotistical’ and don’t feel ‘undeserving.’ Reporters are always looking for stories and quotable experts.

8. Pitch Smart

Successful pitching is all about doing your homework. Study the media outlets you are pitching. What do they cover? Identify the appropriate contact to pitch. Check out what they’ve covered previously. Send a note of introduction before pitching anything to start building a relationship.

I hope these publicity tips will assist you in planning for a successful 2009! If you don't have the time to design and manage a publicity campaign, I also offer coaching services for those that want to DIY - with a little guidance.

Melissa Cassera is the owner and operator of Cassera Communications, a publicity and marketing firm. Her firm helps small business entrepreneurs become successful on a local or national level through personal branding. Melissa’s services blend traditional marketing and publicity strategies with ‘new media’ such as blogging, social networking and article marketing. These elements combined with showcasing a client’s talent and charisma help create a winning personal brand.

Photo credit: CreateHer Stock


Melissa Cassera on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Model Melissa Cassera spent much of her life appearing in local print and television ad campaigns. Now she’s focused solely on achieving that same exposure for her clients.

Melissa is the owner and operator of Cassera Communications, a publicity and marketing firm. Her firm helps small business entrepreneurs become successful on a local or national level through personal branding. Melissa’s services blend traditional marketing and publicity strategies with ‘new media’ such as blogging, social networking and article marketing. These elements combined with showcasing a client’s talent and charisma help create a winning personal brand.

As a former model and actress, Melissa also offers insider knowledge for coordinating commercial campaigns, securing photographers and models, and providing appearance and media coaching to clients. Clients that prefer to stay behind the scenes can also hire her to serve as their spokesperson.

Melissa Cassera has extensive experience in the publicity, journalism and marketing fields and has executed many successful campaigns for her clients. She is a graduate of Rowan University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Public Relations.

Melissa worked as a commercial model and actress in addition to providing public relations/marketing/advertising services to various industries including entertainment, health care, finance and publishing. She started her own successful firm at the age of 26. Her company website can be viewed at

Melissa was also named the 2007 'Woman of the Year' for the Southern New Jersey Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is dedicated to serving the community through various philanthropic efforts.

The Friendship Stone

Jill Raff contacted me regarding the radio show, "Women Entrepreneurs - The Secrets of Success" which is how I was introduced to The Friendship Stone. I was intriqued by the story behind this product and I wanted to share this with you. It's a beautiful idea and I think that it would make a fantastic gift for the holidays and for any special occasion.

The Friendship Stone began on a visit to South Africa when a chance encounter led Cathy Raff, the founder of My Stone Company to notice the variegated Tiger’s Eye. What started with giving a few stones to a couple of friends soon grew into The Friendship Stone – a meaningful give-back gift of love, appreciation and gratitude.

The Friendship Stone is meant to serve as an important reminder of the bond of friendship. It is created using a Tiger’s Eye, semi-precious gemstone which displays an effect of a thin band of light, called Chatoyancy, that changes position as the stone is turned back and forth.

When Cathy saw this stone, it soon developed into a metaphor for living positively and she wanted to share its message with as many people as possible. The ability of the stone to change with the rays of light is an important notion for how one chooses to view life and friendship. Just like the stone’s appearance changes, the Friendship Stone symbolizes the power of choice, of positive thinking and of one’s own ability to alter his/her direction. Despite the circumstances, Cathy realized especially through her own trials and tribulations, how one should always look for the silver-lining in each situation.

Furthermore, The Friendship Stone’s structure is as beautiful, distinctive and irreplaceable as the people that comprise one’s life. Like the stone, each individual is unique and reflects Mother Earth’s magnificence. When you give The Friendship Stone as a gift, you are affirming your belief, confidence and support in the other person. The stone, small-enough to be permanently carried around, serves as a constant reminder of the importance of each individual in one’s life. By giving the Friendship Stone, and now one-of-a-kind Friendship Stone Jewelry, one provides a keepsake, an everlasting sign that no matter where the place or location, there will always be an enduring connection between those two particular individuals – even when in times when they are apart. The Friendship Stone reminds us that giving of our friendship is what truly matters in life. It is the people in our life that counts most.

The Friendship Stone makes a unique friendship gift which also gives back. 10% of all profits from The Friendship Stone product range go back to help the communities in Western South Africa from where the stones originate.

Kristin Moore on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Kristin Moore of Single Tease will be the guest. Kristin, who left her corporate job as a Creative Director of a design firm in the Washington, DC area, is the co-owner of a company for singles called SingleTease. Their company creates products that break the ice between singles. Starting a conversation with an adorable stranger isn’t easy. Where do you begin? Dating experts agree that breaking the ice is easier with a conversation starter: a bestseller, baseball cap or a playful dog—anything that gives them an easy way to start chatting with you. What about wearing a clever t-shirt, or dressing your pup in a fun t-shirt to get their attention and invite conversation?

Their first product is a line of great fitting tshirts with clever messages which let a guy know a woman is available and approachable. Some samples messages are "Just Ask Me (out)" and "Boyscouting (are you prepared?)" They recently launched two more products, SingleTees® for men, and SinglePup® doggie tees which are available for wholesale only.

Open to Receive your Desires - 7 Steps to Clear Energy Blocks Teleclass

Join Elena Camp for her informative and motivational teleclass on Thursday, December 18th at 8:00 pm.

Have you mastered the asking component of the Law of Attraction and are you clear and focused on what you want?
But if what you desired has not manifested in your life, there may be an energy block preventing manifestation. This course will cover 7 important areas in your life that if blocked will delay or prevent full manifestation. Clear your energy and allow and receive quickly and easily all that you have asked for !!


Following your Inner Guidance

business workspace
by Elena Camp 

Some days I feel inspired to read several books, create new classes and study internet marketing.

Other days, I don't feel like doing much at all. I sometimes worry that I am not being productive and then my inner guidance reminds me to act from inspiration and not "shoulds."

I teach others how to work with energy to create and manifest the lives they want. I tell them that you can accomplish more from doing energy work than physical action alone. Invariably, I still succumb to the belief in our society that you should work hard to be successful. Gently, Spirit reminds me that I am an energy guide and I know the laws of the universe. Creation begins in the spirit realm, not the physical realm.

Take the time to do your energy work before you begin any task. Gain clarity around your purpose, intent and motivation prior to taking any action. Clarity saves time and energy. Taking action after you have done your energy work will lead to inspired action. Inspired action is joyful, easy and effortless.

When I take "inspired" action, I can create much more in 2 or 3 hours, than I could all day when I am not feeling motivated. When you are inspired you are connected to Source Energy, the Energy that creates worlds.

Elena Camp is an Energy Guide and Law of Attraction Trainer. She teaches practical tools and processes to help her clients leverage spiritual laws and principles to create joyful, abundant lives. Her company, Pure Vibrations, LLC provides personal and spiritual development services and products.

Margie Basaraba on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Margie Basaraba of YTB Travel will be the guest today at 12:00 noon EST.

Which Comes First, Your Book or Your Business?

By Sophfronia Scott

It's sort of like that chicken or the egg question: which do you work on first, your book or your business?

Should you write a book first and then develop a business when you start attracting attention?

Or should you build your business up first and then write a book as the biggest, tastiest piece of your marketing pie? It's the kind of pondering that can put a well-meaning entrepreneur into the overwhelm zone--and neither the book nor the business move forward!

Here's the problem with this kind of thinking: it assumes that the book is a separate project from your business, when really the two can be developed together. Here's how you can easily fit a book into your business strategy.

What Will Be Your Focus?

Let's look at your business going forward in the next 6-12 months. Is there a particular area, subject or service you would like to introduce or highlight in a new way? Perhaps you've been coaching on business success and you want to start a coaching program around marketing to women or you sell a product that teaches how to write copy, but you want to start teaching it live as a bootcamp. What exactly is it you want to bring to your business and what kind of results do you want to see from the effort?

What Do You Want People to Do?

Now let's pretend someone on the street has just heard about your new offering. What would you want them to do next? Go to your website to learn more? Attend a free public seminar? Call or email you? Think of all the different "next steps" that could be possible for a person who comes across your information.

Write out these steps as if they were on a map that leads the person right to you or, more specifically, into the top of your product funnel. These steps might be simple such as going to your website for a tool or a report. Or they could be a little more complicated, like having them fax in a request for seminar tickets. I like to have a sprinkling of both kinds--it can help you gauge the quality of your prospect.

Plan Your Book Accordingly and Launch It

Fortunately for you, you don't have to wait for someone on the street to tell someone else about your business and your new offering--you are writing a book. And all of those different ways you want people to come back to you, to make contact? They will be placed in the book as your calls to action. Your book will also highlight your knowledge and expertise with the subject you've chosen, be it marketing to women or how to hire the best people. It would also mention all the new business offerings in this area.

Once you have written and launched the book, you can promote the book. And here's the magic of this: it looks like you're promoting this one book, but you're really selling all that other stuff you have going on that's connected to the book: your paid newsletter, your workshops, your coaching programs, your contests, your products. How are you doing that? It's all in the book!

The great thing about this book-and-business strategy is that it can be repeated again and with different subject matter and different offerings. Successful entrepreneurs such as Jack Canfield and Robert Kiyosaki have been doing this for ages. Isn't it time for you to get the word out--and make a profit as well?

© 2008 Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott is a writer of fiction and non-fiction.


Stefanie Berry on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

A cosmopolitan background and an unshakeable spirit are what set SHOWORKS, Inc. president and executive producer Stefanie Berry apart from most event professionals. Born in Lakeland, FL, but raised in Nairobi, Kenya until the age of 15, Berry gained an appreciation for the intrinsic beauty of both the performing arts and the special events industry through the extracurricular activities she participated in as she was growing up.

Berry became a performer for the Kenya National Theater at the tender age of 10, and trained with experienced dancers and vocalists while she studied. She performed for the company for five years, until her family relocated to Atlanta, where she became a professional ballerina with the Atlanta City Center Dance Theater.

Although her educational and extracurricular background focused on performance, Berry's naturally upbeat personality led her to the world of advertising. She relocated to Tampa in 1995, where her attention turned from advertising to video production. Through various business contacts, Berry joined the team at Wizard Studios (at the time- biggest event company in Tampa).

Now, over 15 years later, Berry owns her own full-service event design, floral art, and production firm based in the Tampa, Florida area. Since 2001, she has been the provider of trendsetting and innovative events in the Tampa Bay and Naples market. She has garnered a loyal and diverse customer base with her innovative and visionary approach to events and hands-on client service. Her go-getter attitude and dedication to her work have earned her numerous accolades and award nominations.

Twitter Teleclass

"What is Twitter and How Can It Help Your Business"
Teleclass Presented by Jackie Nees and Angela Jia Kim of Savor the Success

Register and get details here: Here is the link:
Dates: Wednesday, December 17
Time: 8:00pm to 9:00pm EST

Inspirational Quotes

"In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining who we are."
-Mac de Pree

"We are only suffering because what we are doing is not big enough for us."
-Debbie Ford

Quotes provided by Elizabeth Cassidy, Branching Out Life Coaching

What Every Blogger Should Know About Trademark Law Before and While Blogging

by Latoicha Givens, Phillips Givens, LLC

Hello Friends!

I felt the need to write this article because one, I am a blogger. Also check me out at And two, I have had discussions with so many bloggers about whether they owned a trademark and how to protect the good name and reputation they have built through blogging.

I will give you an example of some of the pitfalls bloggers have encountered.

Example 1: You register a blog with blogger and your blog name is You build up a reputation and readership and you decide you want to own your own domain name.

You contact a hosting company and try to register, but low and behold, someone else already owns the domain name. You contact the owner of the domain name and they will gladly let you have it.....for the low low price of $10,000.00! Yikes.

Example 2: You go ahead and register your domain name, Hey you own it! But then some company comes along and registers You both are in same business and when you do a google search, their name comes up first. You have built a brand name, reputation, and following with They are diverting traffic from your blog and causing confusion. What can you do?

So fellow blogger and potential bloggers follow these simple rules to ensure your blog, your brand and trademark, is protected and avoid becoming prey to infringers and cybersquatters.

1. A blog name is a trademark. One misconception many bloggers have is that they do not think they own a trademark because they are not organized as a company. If you a blogger and publish daily, weekly, or monthly articles on your blog, you are in the business of publishing. Also if you receive advertising revenue, or in-kind gifts, products, etc to review on your blog, you are actively engage in commerce - the ability to conduct business transactions.

A trademark is defined as words, symbols, phrases or designs which the public associates with a single source of goods or services. By law you establish trademark rights by actual use of the mark in commerce or filing an intent to use the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO.

2. Do a preliminary search for your blog name. Make sure the blog name you choose is not identical or too similar to a brand name, company, or other blog. You can accomplish this by doing a Google Search. Now Google may not capture every identicial or similar name, (only a comprehensive trademark search will do this) but those that are registered with government agencies and are on the web will be found. The last thing you want to receive is a cease and desist letter from me, a trademark lawyer, stating shut down your blog or else!

3. Register your domain name. A MUST MUST MUST! You must own your blog's name. Before starting a blog, you have to own your name. I can't repeat it enough. Now there are tons of services like blogger, typepad, and wordpress that will let you create a blog name through their service but this DOES NOT mean you own the domain name.

You can choose a domain registrar like VL Hosting to register your name for a nominal fee. Sometimes fees are as low as $10.00 per year. Why do this? Because there are mean lean sharks out in the blogosphere called cybersquatters. They literally surf the net for brand names and company names that do not have registered domain names and register them so they can hold them (cybersquat them) until you come crying and begging for them to release it. They will but for an astronomical fee.

4. Register your blog's name, phrases, and design as a trademark. It is just good practice and planning to register your blog as a trademark. You never know how successful you and your blog may be. Without registering your trademark, you do own a lawful common law trademark right (a trademark right without federal or state trademark registration). However to bring a trademark infringement action against an infringer you must register the trademark with the state where you are located or the USPTO.

Also registering your blog as a trademark is good evidence that you have a legitimate interest in your blog's domain name, if you have to file a domain name dispute against someone who purposely registers a domain name similar to yours in order to steal your traffic. I do understand that obtaining federal trademark registration can be expensive, but it is relatively inexpensive to register with your state. Depending on the state where you are located, fees can be as low as $15.00. But it is smart to get some legal advice. A poorly drafted trademark application will be rejected.

If you are a blogger already engaged in publishing your blog and have not completed any of these steps, I would recommend that you complete these steps as soon as possible! Believe me accomplishing these simple tasks will save you headaches and potentially money.

I hope this article was helpful. If you would like further information, please contact me at Please stay tuned for my next topic: How to file and win a domain name dispute.

Reprinted from

Latoicha Givens is the founder and a member of the firm Phillips Givens, LLC. Ms. Givens practice includes representation of start-ups, small, and mid-sized businesses in intellectual property matters, specifically, trademarks, copyrights, and licensing issues.


Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE Announced

Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs seeking to grow micro businesses to million dollar enterprises.

Through pioneering multi-platform programs, Count Me In unleashes the full capacity of women’s entrepreneurial spirit and the power of women’s economic potential.

Today, Count Me In is launching a major initiative, Make Mine a Million $ Business™ RACE, a year-long business growth “marathon” that will challenge and support one million women entrepreneurs to hit their personal revenue goals for 2009 while creating millions of new jobs and economic stability for their families, communities and the country.

The M3 RACE starts online at on January 27, 2009, where you sign up to race and declare your revenue goals for the year and get ready for the journey of a lifetime!

Advance registration: December 1, 2008 thru December 14, 2009

Standard Registration: December 15, 2008 thru May 31, 2009

The M3 RACE ends on midnight, December 31, 2009 and winners will be announced in February 2010.

Visit to sign up at a reduced rate during the advance registration period.

Businesses Owned by Women of Color in the United States

As of 2008:

  • 2.3 million businesses 50% or more are owned by women of color

  • Growing 3 times faster than all U.S. firms

  • Providing 1.7 million jobs

  • Generating $235 billion in revenues

Source: Businesses Owned by Women of Color in the United States 2008, Center for Women's Business Research, 2008. Underwritten by Wells Fargo
From Center for Women's Business Research

Attract More Customers Teleclass with Elena Camp

Join Elena Camp for her informative and motivational teleclass on Thursday, December 4th at 8:00 pm.

"Attract More Customers, Money and Income Streams using Energy and Magnetism"

Learn how to attract more customers to your business or students to your classes using energy and magnetism. Create more more in your life by working with energy and leveraging the Law of Attraction. Identify and maximize income streams to earn passive income from multiple channels and make money without trading your time for it!


Give Your Elevator Speech a Lift!

By Lorraine Howell, Media Skills Training

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. This is especially true in today’s tumultuous business climate.

When someone asks the introductory “What do you do?” keep in mind that 15-20 seconds -- or the length of an elevator trip – is all you have to start a meaningful conversation.

To get to the essence of a great elevator speech, answer these questions:

Who is your target audience?

Is there an ideal industry, business type, group, socio-economic status, location, hobby, or other common characteristic that describes your best customers? If your target audience is a business, what is the company’s profile? Where is the business in its growth cycle? What processes are involved in the business?

When you identify your ideal customer and target your message accordingly, listeners will see the value and be eager to talk about it. And, if the people you meet are not a fit for your skills and services, a memorable elevator speech can encourage quality referrals.

What do they care about?

Most business owners care about making a profit and outperforming their competition. Yet within each business there are unique concerns and problems. Do they have supply chain issues? What’s their employee retention history? Is their industry expanding or contracting? What issues keep the business owners up at night?

The more you understand the situation from their perspective, the more likely you will be to hit a nerve with your elevator speech. Ask your best customers what is important to them and listen carefully. Within their comments are the jewels that can help you stand out.

What results/benefits do you provide?

Don’t launch into a long explanation about how you do what you do. This confuses the process with the results. Rather, define what problems you solve for your customers. Here are two examples to help frame your storytelling:

•“I help level the playing field for vendors who are negotiating contracts with large multi-national corporations.”

•“I help business and community leaders prepare for the spotlight through public speaking coaching and media interview preparation.

What spins your jets about what you do?

People like to work with professionals who demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for their work, so share zest and energy when you deliver your elevator speech. Make it clear that you enjoy your work and the results you bring about for customers.

Put the pieces together…

As the answers to these questions unfold, your elevator speech will take shape. Use the language of your target audience to state your value and benefits. Shortcut the process and get right to the results in an enthusiastic and compelling way.

With practice, your elevator speech will flow naturally, become part of your personal brand, and help you make the most of every opportunity to make a good first impression.

Lorraine Howell, Author, Give Your Elevator Speech a Lift!
Media Skills Training


Upcoming Guests on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Monday, December 1st 

Patricia Eslava Vessey of Integrity Coaching & Training Systems

Patricia Eslava Vessey is the founder of Integrity Coaching & Training Systems, a multifaceted life coaching, training and wellness company.

Her company provides leadership and wellness coaching and training, staff development, team building, personal growth workshops, and wellness and fitness programs to groups, individuals, and youth. Through coaching, consulting and training, Integrity Coaching & Training Systems helps people make heartfelt life changing choices in order to create lasting and extraordinary results.

In addition, she's had a parallel career in the fitness/wellness field for 28 years. She's a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and lifestyle and weight management consultant and life and wellness coach. She currently teach a variety of fitness classes including step, weight training, cardio salsa, yoga and Pilates.

She graduated from Academy for Coach Training in 2005 and became ICF certified in 2006.

Patricia is in her glory, fully expressing her (Core Heart Essence) CHE when she is able to help others transform limiting beliefs and behaviors into successful and honoring self-discovery. She believes deeply and passionately in creating a healthy inner life, filled with compassion, love, appreciation, and commitment to ourselves. Creating this strong foundation first she knows, will help us face any obstacle with confidence, and serve as a platform for creating the life experiences we desire.

Wednesday, December 3rd

Jackie Nees of Integrity Office Solutions

Jackie Nees is a Virtual Assistant, and the owner of Integrity Office Solutions. Jackie offers administrative and marketing support to small business owners and specializes in working with women entrepreneurs. Her primary focus is helping women who want it all, have it all.

Jackie is passionate about the power of online marketing, particularly in the area of social media and enjoys helping others achieve success in their businesses by exploring and utilizing the many avenues available to them through marketing on the internet. Jackie has a background in administrative assistance and office management and also has an Associate's Degree in Graphic Design.

Friday, December 5th 

Elizabeth Cassidy of Branching Out Life Coaching

Certified Lifestyle and Transition Coach, Elizabeth Cassidy, started Branching Out Life Coaching with the belief that women shouldn't let the economy stall their dreams. There are creative solutions for today's challenges. It all starts with embracing change and not fear.

Her clients are women who learn to give themselves permission to become fearless and fabulous as they fall in love with the lives they know they want to be living. As a client's advocate, elizabeth will be there to offer support, motivation and accountability along with chocolate when needed. Change your perspective and change your life. Branching Out Life Coaching - a safe haven for women and their dreams.

How She Does It: Courtney Robinson Feider

business workplace
An interview with Courtney Robinson Feider, of adrian + sabine creative services.

What is your business – or your business idea?

I own a business called "adrian + sabine creative services" and my tag line is "matching business with creativity." My goal is to fill a niche between advertising/traditional agencies and marketing departments in order to help businesses expand their creative vision or to help creative people find a positive business path/opportunities to collaborate with mainstream businesses.

Why did you to start it – what is your compelling story?

I'd spent 10 years in the corporate marketing/advertising agency world as a Marketing Administrator (running a department for a pharmaceutical research company) and in various agencies as an Account Services person. I'm also a fine artist, focusing on watercolor and mixed media. I found that my creative side was slowly dying. I was always being pigeon-holed as an "account" person. The future for these roles wasn't as bright as the future as a member of the creative class, expressing a unique hybrid of my organizational and creative talents. I am one of a very rare "breed" of organized and strategic artists.

Starting my own business also allowed me the freedom schedule-wise to become a mother (by coincidence I was surprised by a pregnancy less than a month after starting my adventure). Now I have two "children" - a 6 month old baby, and a 11 month old business!

What are your lessons learned?

Mistakes are part of the process. So is evolution and being comfortable with completely changing course/vision as it's necessary to fulfill ambitions and also succeed. I realized that I need to work at my "highest and best" and to delegate other tasks to contract resources. I am in the process of turning all of my books and invoicing over to an accounting professional.

I know that handing these things to appropriate people will help free up my time to pursue new business and grow my company and opportunities. The more time I spend at "highest and best" the more rapidly my business grows and the happier I am when I come home to my baby and husband.

How are you handling the business part - business plan, marketing, etc.

Business plan is something that I need to revisit and refine. I didn't initially take out financing for my business, so I am just now getting to the point where a record of that plan is really essential. Marketing is my business, so I am lucky in that sense. However, I have stayed incredibly busy by referral only - the upside to doing an excellent job for my clients is being referred by clients and friends everywhere. I work locally, regionally, and nationally, so my opportunities extend well beyond my little community.

I feel very fortunate for the positive "PR." I need to spend more focused time on the accounting side of my business and cost of projected growth. My advice for anyone in shoes similar to mine is to seek outside assistance with these matters.

How do you define success in your business?

Providing customer service at its highest and reaping the reward of being referred to a new person or business by a client who is delighted with my work. That and becoming increasingly profitable, of course.

What advice would you give to a woman who wants to start a business some day?

Dream big, write everything down, get a lot of input from friends/family/associates (but don't take it more seriously than your own opinions), and look for opportunities that cannot be outsourced - like creativity, strategy, services or products unique to you as a person. Find someone great to help with business and marketing planning, and always "audit" your success in terms of your business and it's relationship to lowered stress and balance in your life.

I think business ownership can only truly be successful if it fits into your lifestyle. The support of close friends and family is essential, and I strongly recommend forming a Mastermind group to bounce ideas off of other business owners ( or Google "Napoleon Hill - Mastermind Groups"). It gets lonely sometimes with no co-workers/peers.

Courtney Robinson Feider, adrian + sabine creative services

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