How She Does It: Ann Davis of Venture with Impact

Entrepreneur Ann Davis
Many professionals have a global outlook and wish to be engaged in solving worldwide problems.  These professionals are torn between having a career that works towards the social good and one that provides financial security. 

Venture with Impact provides an opportunity for professionals to  live abroad for one or two months and acquire experience working with a local NGO or social business, while keeping their jobs in the United States.

Venture with Impact organizes accommodation, workspace, and pro-bono opportunities for a group of professionals that live in different countries for a minimum of one month.  In each location participants work remotely for their jobs in the United States or their home country in a workspace provided by Venture with Impact.  During their free time participants are matched to a project with a partner organization, which aligns with their professional skills, interests and work schedule.  Their work with the local organization allows them to form relationships and build professional experiences in the process.

Deb Bailey: Hello, Ann. Thanks for stopping by. How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Ann Davis: There are many reasons I decided to start Venture with Impact, but without my experience undergoing my cancer diagnosis (anaplastic astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer) and treatment, I'm not sure that I would have had the confidence and gusto to take the risk! 

I discovered my tumor while on a run one day with friends in New Orleans, where I was living and working at the time.  I was teaching via the Teach For America program, and it was a fairly stressful time in my life.  While running, I felt an electric shock run up the side of my leg, like I had stuck my foot into a toaster.  Next thing I knew I was on the ground undergoing a gran mal seizure. 

During and after my treatment, I  began to ask myself many questions about my future.  These questions included:  What are my passions?  What is holding back from pursuing these passions and dreams?

venture with impact

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Ann: The mission of our organization is to expose professionals to new cultures, ideas, and people so that they can become both more empathetic and global citizens. For Venture with Impact, Venturers will form a community with participants in the program, who they live and travel with, and they will also build a community made up of their non-profit organization and the locals that they volunteer with.  

The communities each of our participants form is incredibly different than their environment back home.  By bringing people out of their comfort zone and into new living and working environments allows for such positive change.  For me, it's incredibly rewarding to see the personal and professional growth that each of our participants undergoes over just a month or two.

For example in last month's Colombian program, we had a married couple that fell in love with Medellín, and by the end of the trip were set on adopting from the country.  Additionally, we had a lawyer, who after thoroughly studying international human rights law and teaching workshops to local NGO staff, has decided he would like to make international human rights a part of his future work.

venture with impact business

Deb: What's your vision for your business?

Ann: Although we a very new business, thus far we have run 6 months of programming, in both Trujillo, Peru and Medellin Colombia, with almost 40 participants.  In 2018, we are planning to expand to two additional locations - Thailand and Portugal.  Long term we plan to have multiple programs running simultaneously all around the world. 

To date we've had a great variety of professionals who have worked on a number of projects.  Professionals with backgrounds in business and marketing have helped local women's collectives to price and package their products; physical therapists have taught workshops and exchanged knowledge with local doctors, tech professionals have built websites for local partners, and many more.

Although all of our Venturers have had permission from their employers to work remotely and participate in a VWI program, in the future I would like for VWI to partner with companies.  My long term vision is that companies around the world will be encouraging and sponsoring their employees to participate in Venture with Impact programs and it becomes part of their organization's professional development program.

Deb: What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

-    My business hasn't been successful so far because I have done it alone
-    I have received help from friends and family as well as people I did not know prior to starting, because they were interested in VWI
-    I am not afraid to ask for help, receive feedback and accept criticism - this is vital for success

I've heard that women entrepreneurs are often times more successful longer term because of the strong relationships they are able to develop. Relationships blossom and develop when you ask for help.

venture with impact

Deb: What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Ann: I would give myself the same advice that I tell myself today - at the end of your life you don't want to have regrets about the things that you didn't do. What stops me from doing the things that I want to do is fear, and fear of failure, but failure is part of living life to its fullest. 
We are so afraid of failure and what others think…but most people don't spend time thinking about what that you failed at. If you succeed, it's something that they notice.

Deb: Thanks for stopping by, Ann. Please share website and social media URLs.

Ann: I enjoyed it, Deb. Here are the links.



Book Spotlight: Jody's Garden by Leah Oviedo

When I fist started working on this book, it was a coloring book with gardening quotes.

As time progressed, the idea to make it more meaningful grew. I wanted to encourage more people to find the healing power of gardening to help heal their grief.

 Even though grief is not an enjoyable feeling, it is as much a part of our journey as any other experience.

In my own grieving I used to push it away because it was so uncomfortable. As I spent more time gardening during when grieving, I felt a healing that wasn't present in other aspects of my life.

There is something about working in the dirt, growing plants and watching them die that brings the cycle of life into a softer perspective. There are also scientific studies that show working in soil activates serotonin in our brains and acts as a natural antidepressant. This explains why I can work in a garden for an hour and be physically tried but emotionally balanced.

Readers can download a free e-book version of my new book "Jody's Garden" on Amazon until September 27th.

Author Leah Oviedo is an artist, illustrator, writer and urban farmer. She is certified in mental health first aid and teaches self defense/empowerment classes for women and girls, including the LGBTQ community.

After working in various fields she realized that she could make a positive difference working in prevention and educating people on how to make positive life choices.

Individual empowerment and personal responsibility is a recurring theme in her work. When she's not working she loves to play in the rain, read and rejuvenate in nature.

Visit Leah's site at:

5 Tips for Stepping into Your Power

business woman smiling
by Chris Atley

What does it even mean to step into your power?

Well, my perspective on this is that means stepping into the best version of yourself. The kindest, most loving and happiest version.

My talk earlier this week was centered around this very topic, and I shared that most people have a hard time doing this because of the negative thoughts swirling around in their minds.

This is definitely a work in progress and won’t ever be perfect…

BUT even if we can have positive thoughts 51% of the time, we’re winning.

So, how can we do this?

Tip #1:

Identify any fear and lack based thinking. It’s sneaky and slips in fast. Notice the decisions you’re making for clues. If you stopped paying yourself first because of a lower income month, you have slipped into lack-based thinking. This then trickles down into everything you’re doing.

Identify the belief and shift it to a new and empowered belief instead. It’s not so much about not having the negative thoughts to begin with, it’s more about how fast you can shift your focus back to empowered thoughts instead. The ego will always be there trying to drag us backwards (unless you’re fully enlightened of course and then you wouldn’t need to be here at all!).

Tip #2:

Identify who you are giving your energy to. Who and what are you saying yes to? Is this taking you closer to your goals and what you want to have more of in your life, or further away? Identifying your values and priorities will help immensely. You’re giving away your power if you are giving away your time and energy to things that aren’t meaningful. This is where resentment is cultivated. Check-in on why you are saying eyes to begin with - if it’s about people pleasing and trying to fulfill a dysfunctional need - then your light will be dimmed.

Tip #3:

Let go of expectations of others. Note I said “expectations” not “unrealistic expectations”. Who gets to decide what is realistic and unrealistic anyway? That is just another set of rules we create to keep us separate and disappointed in others. We keep the drama alive. I realized the other day my expectations are a little too high for my kids. Sometimes I forget they are just kids and still have tons too learn. A great catch for sure. If we let go of how people “should” behave and act all together we will experience a whole lot less disappointment, and therefore a tail spin of negative thinking.

Tip #4:

Be confident with who you are on the inside. Easier said then done sometimes, I know. Self-care helps a ton with this. Taking the time to do what you love is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. It instils self-love and essentially confidence. Take some time to reflect and receive the divine guidance there for you as well. This will help strengthen your connection to Source and the universal energy available for all of us, and help you feel less isolated and more connected. This leads to having the strength to stay no to things and people that drain your energy and yes to what brings you joy instead.

Tip #5:

Strengthen your connection to the Universe. Not only does this help with confidence as mentioned above, this helps you to be inspired and a co-creator in the life you’re wanting. You will be shown how and when to shine your light. This doesn’t feel scary, it feels good. Because at the highest level, what you are really doing is extending love. Now it might look like doing this from a stage, or one-on-one with your neighbour. There is no size to it. Its about extending that energy to those around you, which in-turn creates a massive ripple effect of goodness.

Have fun and let’s lose the “seriousness” around it :-) As soon as we get too serious, we’ve slipped into the ego again. It doesn’t have to be so heavy.

Namaste friends xo

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit

Photo credit:

Eye for Ebony


How She Does It: Christie & Taylor Cook of Avery Verse Luxury Handbags

Avery Verse is an Australian luxury handbag brand that produce designer, Italian vegetable tanned leather bags for the sophisticated woman. Proceeds from every sale are donated to charities as we seek to help transform the world through business.

Deb Bailey: Glad to have you here today, Christie. Who are the ideal clients for your brand?

Christie Cook: Great to be here, Deb. Ideal clients are the customers who want a timeless style, love the sustainable and charitable elements of our brand and tell others about us. Word of mouth is very valuable to a new brand so we appreciate positive feedback from purchasers.

Deb: Are there any “lessons learned” from the business that you’d like to share?

Christie: Oh so many but I’ll narrow it down to this; always plan to put much more money into advertising than you ever realised you needed. There’s so much competition in fashion and accessories, your advertising budget needs to go a long way.

I have also learned that every step of the way is slower than you will have planned for or anticipated. A lot happens at any given stage that will slow down production and much of this is out of your hands. For example; our manufacturer will take holidays, PR event dates get pushed back to later in the year, a designer may need more time to compete a task. These sorts of delays are common.

avery verse red handbag

Deb: What’s your vision for Avery Verse?

Christie: Our vision is to expand globally and we’re excited to be seeing our reach beyond Australia growing. The aim is to develop Avery Verse into a recognised and respected name in the area of sustainable accessories and high end fashion as a whole.

avery verse crossbody handbag

Deb: Based on your experiences, what do you think are the top 3 traits an entrepreneur must have?

Christie: Tenacity, Vision, Flexibility. All of these qualities are important but I think that tenacity is foremost during the start up stages.

avery verse tote bag

Deb: I totally agree. Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Stop wasting time! Life moves much faster than you realise. If you really want to do something, start early...this way you have more time to improve and perfect what you love. This process becomes so much harder when you’re older and have more responsibilities, more financial pressure and less time.

avery verse subtle handbag

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Christie: My family and their future inspires me. Knowing that my success will set them up for the future motivates me. As for design and style inspiration, that typically comes from the past. My grandparent’s generation were so classy and elegant and that is what we aspire to at Avery Verse.

Deb: That's wonderful, Christie. Please share your links so that the readers can learn more about your products.

Christie: I enjoyed it, Deb. Here are the links.



How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page

How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page: A Beginner's Guide
How to Write a Persuasive Sales Page, courtesy of Henneke at Enchanting Marketing

"Social Skills in the Digital Age" with Rosanne J. Thomas, Founder of Protocol Advisors, Inc on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Roseanne Thomas President of Protocol Advisors, Inc
Show #430

Topic: "Social Skills in the Digital Age"

Rosanne J. Thomas is founder and president of Protocol Advisors, Inc., specialists in providing business etiquette training to professionals at respected organizations from Tiffany & Co. to Boeing. She also helps prepare students at top colleges and universities to achieve the highest degree of workplace success. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

In today's workforce, with people from five generations and all kinds of backgrounds and perspectives working together under intense pressure, avoiding saying or doing something that might annoy, offend, or alienate someone is like walking through a minefield. How can business leaders mitigate misunderstandings and foster teamwork? How can young professionals minimize interpersonal missteps? 

An expert on business etiquette sought out by leading organizations, Rosanne J. Thomas takes on these challenges. In EXCUSE ME: The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette (AMACOM; August 17, 2017; $21.95 Hardcover), she presents a new playbook for workplace behavior that respects the individual, which in turn benefits the company.

Excuse Me: The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette

Rather than protocols and rules, Thomas shares dozens of real-life scenarios, hundreds of practical tips, and valuable advice with a priority on good faith effort and a willingness to employ the all-powerful apology. "The practice of on-the-job etiquette does not require anyone to be perfect," she assures. "My goal for readers is that they develop confidence in themselves and in their interactions with others and feel empowered to bring their best, most authentic selves to the workplace each and every day."

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Roseanne Thomas Founder of Protocol Advisors on Women Entrepreneurs Radio


How She Does It: Krissi Barr, CEO of Barr Corporate Success

Female Entrepreneur Krissi Barr CEO of Barr Corporate Success
Krissi Barr is CEO of Barr Corporate Success, consultants specializing in strategic planning, executive coaching, and behavioral assessments, and the co-author of The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work.

Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Krissi. How did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Krissi Barr: Great to be here, Deborah. I started my consulting company 15 years ago and have never looked back. My husband (and co-author of our books) encouraged me to hang up my own shingle, and it was the best advice I've ever received.

I had worked for a start-up family business, large public company and several small to medium sized companies in a variety of industries. I had seen how well run companies operate and had spent a lot of time seeing how poorly run companies do things. I knew I could help people and organizations because I knew both what they were experiencing and how to turn things around.

Deb: Are there any "lessons learned" that you'd like to share?

Krissi: This question is at the core of why my husband and I have written two business books. We based the latest book, The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work, on dogs because it's different and relatable for most people. Leadership is so critical to success. With great leadership almost anything is possible. Without it, organizations can almost never succeed. The four canine-derived leadership takeaways in The Fido Factor are that leaders have to be faithful, inspirational, determined and observant.

  • Faithful leaders earn the trust of their team and their customers by doing the right things and living up to their word.
  • Inspirational leaders move people to do the meaningful and the extraordinary.
  • Determined leaders combine perseverance with a dose of fearlessness to keep moving toward goals.
  • Observant leaders are committed to taking in as much information as possible in order to make the best decisions.

 All good ideas. And all a lot harder to do then say.

Deb: Very true. So, who are your ideal clients?

Krissi: I've worked with clients that range from the Fortune 50, to a local heating & plumbing company, to a global sex toy distributor and everything in between. There are several distinct parts to my business: strategic planning & implementation, executive coaching, behavioral assessments, public speaking and leadership training. Over 90 percent of the companies I've worked with have exceeded their goals, so it looks like it's working pretty well.

My ideal client is one where leadership is aware of a problem or challenge and has the commitment to turn it around. Once there is alignment on the goal there's an extremely high likelihood of success. Behaviors precede results, so for implement to take hold I coach to change behaviors.

The FIDO Factor Business Book Cover

Deb: You've certainly had a lot of experiences with all types of organizations.  What inspires you to do the work you do?

Krissi: Many things inspire me, but the most important one is I genuinely care about people. This is especially true for my clients. I am interested in them and will do everything I can to help them succeed. This passion comes through in virtually every interaction I have, whether they're the receptionist at the front desk or the owner of the company.

I am a competitor, so I also love to win. And that means I want my clients to succeed because once they hire me, I'm on their team.

I had breast cancer a few years ago and I'm happy to report that I'm doing great. But it also taught me that there is more to life than work. I've chaired over 30 major charitable events that have helped thousands of people. I'm inspired by my incredible family, our dogs, by nature, and by a deep desire to learn.

Deb: I'm so glad to hear that you're doing great. And you certainly keep very busy! What is your favorite activity to relax and unwind?

Krissi: This is the hardest question so far! My motor runs very high, so I work too much. I have a bad habit of not taking enough "me" time. I'm working on this.

My favorite times are spent with my husband, son, and dogs. When our pack is together I'm happy. My husband and I take our dogs on a walk through the park every morning for exercise and we all love it. In addition I enjoy hiking, bike riding and playing golf.

I also have a love of gardening. Few things relax me more than planting and tending to my flowers. A few years ago I also learned how to play the harp. It's a very difficult instrument that I still haven't mastered. I love playing the harp outside surrounded by my flowers and dogs and family. Throw in a glass of chardonnay and I'd call that hard to beat!

About Krissi Barr

Krissi Barr is CEO of Barr Corporate Success, consultants specializing in strategic planning, executive coaching, and behavioral assessments, and the co-author of The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work.

Why Business Women Should Invest in Real Estate

business woman looking out a window

by Mark Machaalani

For business women, real estate investments serve multiple attractive purposes: Ease of business expansion; ease of investment financing; tax deductions; subsidiary entrepreneurship; increased marketing; and potential for lucrative profit. Let's look at each.

Ease of Business Expansion

Many businesses start on a shoestring, often from the founder's home office. As they grow, they often move into a small warehouse or office space rented from others.

Business women who invest in real estate can avoid throwing away those monthly lease dollars, instead purchasing their own commercial property that uniquely serves their needs.

Ease of Investment Financing

Real estate loans are among the easiest and most affordable loan types to obtain. Currently, the average rate of a U.S. mortgage is approximately 4 percent, with some available at less than 3 percent. As example, entrepreneurs whose firms are going to occupy at least 51 percent of the commercial real estate, can easily qualify for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA,) once the company has been in business for three years and has established good credit. Several lenders and organizations offer low-rate financing specific to women-owned businesses that have been operating for a year or more.
Tax Deductions

A business woman who owns commercial rental property can actually avoid capital gains taxes on the cash flow derived from the rental. Mortgage interest deductions and depreciation enable this terrific perk for property ownership. What's important here is that she leverages her capital - that is, she borrows money for the purchase of the rental property.

Subsidiary Entrepreneurship

Think of this as hedging your entrepreneurial bets. Your fledgling business is probably the results of a dream - that is, your idea for a new concept, tool or service. Untested, it might leave you on shaky financial ground for several years. Real estate, on the other hand, is a tried and true form of entrepreneurship and, except during recession, is one of the more lucrative and secure forms of business ownership. A business owner who as well is an experienced commercial real estate investor has additional areas of expertise, and a second source of income during the hard startup times.
You might even consider flipping real estate as a side venture - that is, buy commercial property, make necessary improvements, and quickly sell at a profit.

Increased Marketing

Most industries and business products have specific and somewhat-limited audiences. Your feminist T-shirt business will primarily lure liberals and females. Your used bookstore is not likely to target millennials, who prefer to read from Kindle or other e-readers. Real estate, however, can be of interest to just about anyone. Renters might be retirees looking for their winter home, or small businesses needing office space. Additionally, rental properties have brick-and-mortar advertising and marketing space.

In luring prospective renters or buyers, you can as well market your business, whether it's in your e-mail signature sent to those inquiring about the real estate or rental property, as a widget on your real estate property blog or website, or even as a banner on the commercial building itself. You might even discount your business services or products to your renters, or affiliate with your renters' businesses.

Potential for Lucrative Profit

The profit from real estate investing is both ongoing and long-term:

  • The current median capitalization (cap) rate for commercial real estate is 6.2 percent. Defined as the rate of return on an investment property. The calculation is: net operating income divided by current market value. For business women who purchase commercial property with a 4-percent-interest loan, this represents an approximate 2 percent annual gain.
  • No matter the use you make of your commercial property - to house your business, or for rental income - that property will almost certainly appreciate. While those who work for others are paying into their 401(k) or pension, you are investing in your commercial property. That property or properties, upon sale, could provide a hefty nest egg for your retirement.

Business women who invest in real estate save money, earn money, add expertise to their business repertoire, and expand their firm's marketing potential. Real estate is one of the smartest investments a business woman can make.

About the Author: Mark Machaalani is a Solicitor Director & Co-founder of Unified Lawyers. Mark is an experienced litigator and commercial lawyer practising in the areas of commercial litigation, property law, debt recovery, building and construction, bankruptcy and insolvency, insurance law, asset protection, retail and commercial leasing, the sale or purchase of business and conveyancing. Read more about him here.

Photo credit: Eli DeFaria

"Growing a Business in the Cluttered Online Market" with Kristin Marquet Founder of The Haute Rebel on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

 Show #431

Topic: How to Start and Grow a Business in Today's Online Cluttered Market

 Kristin Marquet is the Founder & Publisher of The Haute Rebel, a one-stop shop for women 30+ who are looking to live happier, healthier, and more stylish lives.

She is also the founder and creative director of Creative Development Agency(formerly award-winning firm, Marquet Media). As the founder and creative director, Kristin has forged successful partnerships with celebrity entrepreneur and founder Christina Crawford of Bubble Pop Beauty; prestige hair care brand Briogeo; French accessory designer Mona Roussette; and many more. She has also authored the bestselling book, Squash the competition and Dominate your marketplace: 55 easy Tips to Generate Big Publicity for your startup or small business.

As someone who is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs grow their businesses, she also launched the online community and resource,

Kristin holds a master's degree in marketing from New York University, and is also a contributor to,, and She lives in Westchester, New York with her husband.

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Business owner Kristen Marquet of The Haute Rebel


The Perfect Way to Celebrate Summer's End: Himalyan Salt Shot Glasses

Small business profile salt shot glass
Several years ago I was walking in the park with a friend. She was describing a holiday gift she'd recently bought for her mom. It was a plate made of sea salt.

 I'd never heard of something like that before, so I wasn't sure exactly what it was about. Her mother was going to use it with certain dishes she served. But sea salt? I didn't get it.

Then I had the chance to check out sea salt shot glasses. As it turns out, a family-run company named, Root7 sells a set of Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses that are perfect for those Tequila shots (and Margaritas too).

Small business profile Root 7 Salt Shot Glasses

I don't know about you, but I like the salt around the rim of the glass. But in this case, you get a slightly salty flavor with your shot.

Even better, they provide a Acacia Wood serving board for the glasses. So you can serve them to your guests and it looks great on your table (or wherever your party is).

Small Business Profile Salt Shot Glasses in a box

Just don't put them in the dishwasher! Try them out after using, and you're good to go. Store in a cool, dry place and you're ready to use them again.

So, now I get it! Ethically sourced and sustainable. The perfect barware for your next party and a perfect gift too (the holiday season will be here before you know it). I really enjoying using these, and so did my guests.

Disclaimer: I received a product for review, but my opinions are my own. This post does not contain affiliate links. For more information about sponsored posts, see the blog disclaimer statement

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