Actress, Entrepreneur & Author Rhonda Shear ON WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR RADIO™

Show #460

New Orleans native Rhonda Shear is a comedian, designer, entrepreneur, actress, philanthropist and author.

For over four decades, she has acted on more than 100 television shows, posed for Playboy, headlined in Vegas, been Miss USA, built a $100 million lingerie company, paraded down Bourbon Street and married her childhood sweetheart and the love of her life, Van Fagan.

She and Van live with their pack of spoiled puppies in her Barbie dream house in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they manage their business empire, open their home to charitable galas and gatherings of friends, and savor the good life.

Rhonda is author of "Up All Night: From Hollywood Bombshell to Lingerie Mogul, Life Lessons from an Accidental Feminist"

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You can also find her book at, and various Barnes and Nobles.

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Go for Your Dreams and Move Past the Naysayers

smiling business woman
by Chris Atley

We can only be so lucky to find a wonderful person who will support us along our journey no matter what we decide to do.

This type of person is very special and is basically your personal cheerleader. They will believe in you and not judge you.

They will be excited for you no matter what it means for them. This person wants you to follow your dreams and will support you no matter what.

If you have more then one type of person like this in your life, you are super lucky! Surround yourself with these people when you are trying new things and taking big leaps!

But what happens when the people around you are less then thrilled with your plans?

First of all, it’s important to remember that no one else is going to fully understand your dreams and aspirations because they’re yours. Everyone has different dream, goals and a sense of "ideal life". So other people likely won't understand your dreams. If you’re looking for reassurance from somebody else, you likely won’t get it. Others may find it hard to relate to your dreams because it’s not something they want for themselves, especially if it’s out of the societal “norm”. This doesn’t mean it isn’t the right path for you :)

Remember people are operating out of their own fear. They have an entire lifetime of experiences and their opinions come directly from those experiences. If the person you are talking to has never done anything near what you are doing, it doesn’t make sense to take advice from them. You will probably receive a lot of their own fears and issues coming along with the advice.

Some people have a hard time welcoming in the new and saying good-bye to the old. These people probably like you just the way you are. They are envious of your ambition and drive for a different life. They likely feel like they will be left behind. The reality is that they might. Especially if they are negative. It’s really important to surround yourself with positive people.

There’s a difference between negative and sad. You will notice that some people will just be sad as you embark on something new. Maybe they won’t see you as often if you’re starting a new business for example, or they know the relationship is going to change. This is okay. People are entitled to their emotions and they can still be supportive of you even if they are a little sad. However, the people who are down right negative and disrespectful are the ones giving you little digs whenever they can. You know the type. These are the ones to limit time with, and if you can’t then at least ignore them.

If you absolutely have to be around these negative people, know that they are doing the best with the tools they have. Bless them, wish them well and try to see what their positive intention is. It’s there, you may have to dig deep, but it’s there. This will help you change your perspective on them and you will be able to interact with them on a more peaceful level.

At the end of the day, know this: It’s your right to follow your dreams and do what will make you happy. Remember, when you’re happy you will have more to give others anyways, so everyone does in fact benefit from you doing what you love.

About the Author: 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

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unsplash-logoEye for Ebony

Battle of the Sexes: Why Male Entrepreneurs Continue to Earn More in Funding

by Laura McLeod

If two people started the same type of business in similar ways, yet only one of those founders received $100,000 in funding, would that be fair? What if the only difference between those two entrepreneurs was gender?

Unfortunately, that hypothetical question is reality, according to 99designs' recent Women in Business 2018 study. Based on answers from over 3,000 entrepreneurs, 99designs found that despite being equal in passion, drive, and work ethic, women were nearly half as likely to raise $100,000 in funding than their male counterparts.

Let's take a look at some of the core findings from the study, and what they might mean for entrepreneurship in 2018 and beyond.

The passion

Perhaps most confusing is that female entrepreneurs reported a work ethic that seemed to surpass their male counterparts. Women were more likely to report putting in a second shift after hours (67% of women vs 61% of men) and running their businesses from home (68% of women vs 48% of men). Women were also more likely to have started a business after the age of 35.

When asked why they started a business, the women 99designs surveyed were more likely to list reasons more closely related to passion for their work, including, "I have an expertise in the area." Men, on the other hand, were more likely to state that they started a business because they "always wanted to be an entrepreneur."

The cost

Unfortunately, this lack of access to funding could have a direct impact on many women-run businesses and their ability to move beyond the startup phase. Not only do more women work from home, but they're also less likely to hire additional employees early on. In fact, men are twice as likely to have two or more employees working for their startup than women (53% of men vs 32% of women).

If women  lack the funding  necessary to rent office space, hire new employees, or invest in marketing to reach new clients, they could find growth of their businesses stagnate.

The commonalities

In all other areas, though, 99designs' data shows male- and female-led businesses operate similarly. With the rare exception, both genders are likely to start businesses in the same industries, although women are more likely to choose healthcare or design, while men more often opt for tech-oriented enterprises. Both men and women also seem to approach fundraising in similar manners, listing challenges like "inexperience" and motivations like "retaining independence." Both genders also listed friends and family as their top funding source.

The reasoning

So why the disparity in funding? There could be many reasons. One possible reason lies in the wording used to describe male vs. female entrepreneurs by venture capitalists in the boardroom and behind closed doors. Female entrepreneurs have been found to be referred to by VCs as weak, worried, or too cautious, while men are described as arrogant, aggressive, or very driven. Investors also tend to bias the questions asked when interviewing male entrepreneurs vs. their female counterparts. Men are often asked questions that are promotion-oriented (hopes and ideals), while women are asked prevention-oriented (safety and security) questions.

The good news

Perhaps the best news coming out of the study comes from comparing this year's results to last year's. Last year, 99designs found that 12 percent of men surveyed had raised more than $100,000 in funding, compared to only 5 percent of women surveyed. This year, 28 percent of men report raising $100,000 or more, and 15 percent of women had achieved that goal. Unfortunately, though, the same gap hasn't narrowed by much, with men still nearly two times more likely to raise six-figure funding than women.

The impact

When women are denied the funding they need, it actually affects the economy as a whole. One UK-based study found that by boosting female entrepreneurship, the UK economy would see an increase of as much as £180 billion ($250 million in US dollars). American studies have found that women-led companies perform far better than those headed up by men and they also bring 60 percent more value to the investors who believe in them. There also continues to be a pay gap between men and women, and providing equal funding could be a great way to start to change those numbers.

The first step toward remedying the gender funding disparity is to be aware that it's taking place. The realities of investing in female-led ventures seem to vary dramatically from what investors seem to believe. As investors prepare for another decade of investing, it's important to continue to watch these numbers and make a concerted effort toward offering equal funding for equal businesses.

Author bio: Laura heads up the European Marketing team for 99designs in Berlin. Having studied History of Art in the UK's capital city, she is passionate about the visual arts, design and aesthetics, and has over a decade of digital marketing experience behind her. When she's not championing the 99designs brand you'll likely find her hanging out with friends, family or co-workers across continents, practicing yoga or soaking up her favourite music around the city of Berlin.


How To Help Youth Unemployment Through Entrepreneurship

young woman
by Yazi

It has been noted that the number of jobs available in the market are becoming scarce. Additionally, with the advancement in technology, there is a limitation in job opportunities.

People moving to urban centres have brought about congestion and therefore limiting the opportunities available.

Furthermore, the skill set matches are also becoming tougher as years go by. What would have been deemed as perfect for a certain position ten years ago, can now be deemed redundant.

The rate of unemployment among the youth is a worldwide issue. It is becoming very rampant over time. The good thing, however, is that there is an available solution to this issue. Entrepreneurship is the most recommended option for anyone who does not want to fall into the bucket of the unemployed. How can entrepreneurship solve unemployment in youth? Some of the factors of entrepreneurship have been discussed below.

1. Help them think outside of the box

Mentorship should begin at a young age. Before the young adults start attending college, they should be provided with forums where there is a major need in the country. This assists in matching the available jobs with the required skills. This means that more people will not choose the ordinary courses and become stuck looking for jobs. 

Instead, they are likely to try and fill in the existing gaps in the market with innovative ideas in their own businesses. This will lead to gaps been filled while the rate of unemployment is reduced.
Entrepreneurship requires out-of-the-box thinking. This means that for you to be able to start your own business, a lot has to come into place. This includes funding. The youth are encouraged to enter into competitions to showcase their ideas and get funding. They can also do their research and approach companies that support start-ups. 

Whichever the method used, the important point is to start creating relationships that are meaningful to make businesses a success.

2. Sponsor non-profit organisations in the community

A country with more entrepreneurs being supportive of youth and local community encourages not only growth, but also productive behaviour. This also lessens an issue like unemployment in younger generations.

Many wonder how to help youth unemployment in their areas. The major advice that can be given to entrepreneurs who want to help this issue is that they can create opportunities for young people to engage in training, volunteering or other productive activities.

For instance, in Australia, yourtown, for 56 years, they run a range of projects to help young people develop strategies and skills. They tackle issues like youth unemployment and mental health in youth. Through training and a range of activities, youngsters can acquire some skills and experience they need to become a productive worker in the workforce.

Entrepreneurs can help by sponsoring non-profit organisations in their communities, organising volunteer sessions with the team members or investing in business models that give back.

3. Create funding schemes that are conditional on financial education

Governments' and private institutions have acknowledged that the rate of unemployed youth is worrying and they have come up with various ways of promoting entrepreneurs among the youth. 

They have provided sources of income and even provided mentorship opportunities to the aspiring entrepreneurs. They have made sure that as much as resources exist to fund entrepreneurship opportunities, the youth are also given mentorship on how they will manage these resources well to create their businesses.

Some of the ways entrepreneurship can help combat unemployment in youth is creating job opportunities for others. When people start their own businesses and are well mentored, the business is likely to prosper. If the business prospers, there is room and available resources to open up new job positions. 

This means that people who are unemployed will end up been employed to assist the business towards greater heights. The more entrepreneurs become successful, the more people can be hired and the lesser the unemployed in the society.

Moreover, a business means income. Income means taxes. The more the rate of entrepreneurs, the more the economy of the country is likely to grow due to the increased revenue and money exchange. 

4. Work with influencers to spread inspiring stories

Entrepreneurs should encourage others to develop success from failures and empower them through their own stories. 

Entrepreneurship has been encouraged globally even by people such as Oprah Winfrey.

Their success and stories have had their share of the pie in reducing unemployment as more entrepreneurs look up to them. 

Incubators, forums, and networking opportunities have also come up over the years to encourage entrepreneurs and upcoming entrepreneurs on their journey in business.

5. Inject a local culture of entrepreneurship

In learning institutions, teachers should instill entrepreneurship skills in students to avoid the students from getting frustrated when job opportunities do not arise soon after they finish studying. 

If entrepreneurship is well taught in schools, the rate of unemployment can go down significantly since more youth will be willing to kick-start their own businesses soon after they finish school. This will reduce the dependence for searching for white collar jobs as well as providing opportunities for others who might be looking for jobs.

Entrepreneurship not only curbs unemployment but also widens the scopes of relationships. People wonder why business owners know more people than people who are hired. This is because entrepreneurs network a lot as a form of learning, marketing, and growth. They have some sort of communal relationship that keeps them going. 

The fact that the entrepreneurs have different stories of how they started and where they are, there is a lot to learn as an entrepreneur. Maybe the first business you start will not be a success but you the youth are encouraged to learn from these mistakes and keep going.

About the Author: Yazi is an inspired writer who enjoys writing about personal growth, self-help tips, and women's lifestyle.

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unsplash-logoJonas Svidras


"Three Tips to Ditch Your Corporate Day Job & Embrace Who You Are" with Best-Selling Author Naomi Sodomin on Women Entrepreneur Radio™

Show #456

Topic: "Three Tips to Ditch Your Corporate Day Job & Embrace Who You Are"

Naomi Sodomin, International Best-Selling Author of, EMBRACE THE MIRROR: Vision of Abundance and a Stronger You

Naomi Sodomin is a passionate messenger, an advocate for women trapped in Corporate America and desperate to escape; her days (and often her nights) are devoted to helping them create a life filled with freedom, joy, and abundance. "It's my mission," she states, offering her signature bright smile.

Ms. Sodomin is an international best-selling author, speaker, and life-transformation coach. Her book, Embrace the Mirror: Vision of Abundance and a Stronger You launched in December 2017 to rave reviews and top-tier sales. She is fast becoming one of the most in-demand and prominent speakers and coaches on the scene today.

A Registered Nurse and valued member of the medical community, Naomi has extensive experience in transitioning and mentoring. She's the founder and President of Embrace The Mirror, a company established to provide mentoring and coaching for women feeling trapped in Corporate America who are ready to quit their day job. She teaches them how to start their own unique business; one that allows them to work for themselves and manifest their dreams. She helps them strategize and put a solid plan in place while they exit.

Clients find Naomi a caring, dynamic teacher and coach. She is passionate and committed to being instrumental in transforming the lives of her clients, and has successfully helped hundreds of women leverage their time and create another income stream. When not working directly with her company, Naomi can be found on stage in various venues delivering her message of self-love, freedom, joy, and abundance.

More about Naomi Sodomin…
Naomi is a native of Haiti, a tiny Caribbean nation with a ragged history of poverty, strange Voo Doo practices, hurricane devastation, and corrupt politics. She was fortunate enough to emigrate to the United States at the tender age of nine, with her family and three siblings; a quest for a better life drove them from their seaside village to seek more opportunity and freedom. Despite the early days of financial struggle and the challenges of inner city life, Naomi was the first in her family to graduate college and become a Registered Nurse. Her passion for freedom, joy, and abundance opened the door for a career opportunity as an in-demand Travel Nurse, thereby doubling her income and enabling her to work throughout the country.

Over the course of her nursing career, Naomi developed a love for mentoring the new nurses, and was quickly recognized for her coaching abilities and her inspirational approach to teaching. As a Certified Preceptor in the Critical Care set-ting, Naomi mentored hundreds of newly-pinned and student nurses. She helped them build their confidence, and develop the skills necessary to succeed in the demanding and stressful nursing profession, where life and death hang on every decision.

Naomi has transferred her love for mentoring and coaching, and created a vibrant and thriving business that now gives her the flexibility to do the work she loves, travel the world, and spend precious time with her husband and young son. She is available by appointment.

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Do's & Don'ts of Giving & Receiving Constructive Criticism

Although managers and leaders of companies spanning every size need to understand the importance of giving and receiving feedback, the ability to give and receive constructive criticism is even more important in entrepreneurship. In the early stages of a company, there is little room for error and the dynamics of a team must be structured accordingly.

Building a new company offers the unique opportunity to influence the values that will be implanted in the minds of all new hires. It’s important to discuss the importance of a feedback loop with your team because otherwise, they might think your criticism is abrasive. It is also important to be open-minded and actually seek criticism from your team and even troubleshoot solutions.

In this visual from GetVoIP, you will learn how to give and receive criticism that is actually constructive. It may be difficult to scrutinize your team at first, but if you offer feedback that your team can internalize and put into action you will become a more effective leader.  

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Apply for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement’s 10th Annual Women’s Leadership Program

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) is a national nonprofit dedicated to the employment, development and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals.

They're now accepting applications for the 10th Annual Women’s Leadership Program.

Mujeres de HACE is a 14-week training on the crucial skills needed for professional growth. Participants will receive individualized content that will fuel professional development and support them as they build relationships with peers and mentors.

Sessions will be held across the country in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Houston, Dallas, Miami and the Washington D.C. metro area.

The Mujeres de HACE program costs $2,500 and accepts tuition assistance. The fee covers training sessions, coaching and materials.

To apply for the program

To learn more about Mujeres de HACE and to apply for the program, visit The deadline for the spring cohort application is March 30, 2018. The fall cohort application deadline is Aug. 5, 2018.

About the program

Over the past 10 years, Mujeres de HACE has led more than 800 women to grow professionally and break down barriers. Program graduates have gone on to achieve leadership positions across top companies, including NASA, Toyota and LinkedIn. In fact:

  • Two in five program participants report a promotion within six months of completing the program;
  • Two in five report a salary increase within six months of completing program; and
  • Four in five report serving on a non-profit board or volunteering after the program.

“Mujeres de HACE is a women’s leadership program aimed at empowering high-potential Latina professionals at the manager level or above to succeed professionally and thrive personally,” said Patricia Mota, HACE president and CEO. “For HACE members, achieving an entry-level position is the starting point, not the goal.”

This year, Mujeres de HACE is visiting San Francisco for the first time to address the lack of Latina leadership in technology. According to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Silicon Valley’s tech workforce is a mere 4.7 percent Hispanic.

For this initiative, HACE will be partnering with Groupon who will host the program’s San Francisco cohort and sponsor the graduation ceremony.

In addition to a comprehensive training curriculum covering everything from leadership style to developing a personal brand, Mujeres de HACE will feature executive leaders from renowned companies. These speakers will share their keys to career progression and discuss the challenges Latinas face in the current political climate.

Joining Groupon as 2018 corporate sponsors are NBC Universal, Northern Trust, Marathon Oil and AT&T. AT&T will be hosting Mujeres de HACE’s first-ever program in Atlanta.

About HACE

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement is a national nonprofit dedicated to the employment, development and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals. Since 1982, HACE has served as a resource for Latinos in the workplace and a source of expertise and insight for corporations seeking to access them.

Through professional development, resources and networks, and by facilitating access to meaningful career opportunities, HACE helps Latinos succeed in every phase of their careers.

With a network of over 52,000 members across the country, HACE works with employers to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic economy by helping them attract, develop and retain Latino and diverse professionals.

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unsplash-logoHelena Lopes

International Women's Day 2018

International Women's Day 2018 Theme: #Press for Progress

International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women's Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.

No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women's Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for over a century - and is growing annually from strength to strength.


How to support International Women's Day

Follow International Women's Day on Twitter: @Womensday

Photo credit: CreateHer Stock

"How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive in the Gig Economy" with Writer & PR Expert Erin Schultz on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #455

Topic: "How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive in the Gig Economy" with Writer & PR Expert Erin Schultz 

Erin shares how she reclaimed her professional and personal power by starting her own business, and using her skills to carve out her own niche.

Erin Schultz is a writer, editor, multimedia journalist, and publicist. Armed with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, Erin, 41, has two decades of experience working in media of several formats -- from local to national outlets -- expressing her passion for authentic storytelling. A recent stint as an editor in the contributed content department at in Manhattan opened her eyes to the thriving entrepreneurial world of CEOs, founders and everyone in between working hard to realize their business dreams.

Erin now works remotely on Long Island. Her writing has been published all over the U.S. (and a few other countries), and her video work has been broadcast on the Discovery Channel. When Erin isn’t polishing content to perfection or making people famous, she enjoys long-distance running, in-depth conversation at Irish Pubs, and standing ovations at karaoke nights. She also is currently working on a book about her past adventures in journalism.

Over the years, Erin has developed ongoing working relationships with editors and contributors from Entrepreneur, Inc., The New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post, Fortune, CNBC,,, AdWeek, Good Men Project, MarketWatch, various podcasts, radio and YouTube shows, and more.

Erin's LinkedIn network is made up of hundreds (and growing every day!) of influential people -- entrepreneurs and media types from all over the globe. Here, she has hundreds of direct connections to contributors, staff writers and editors from all of the above publications plus: Fast Company,The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Business Insider, and many more.

Having been featured as an expert source in local and national media herself, Erin knows all about the power of leveraging media for her own professional pursuits. Originally from Michigan, Erin was profiled several times in the local media during her stint as the lead singer of a popular local band in her early 20s. She was interviewed at length on WPKN 89.5, a Connecticut radio station, in 2011 when she headed up a new news website on the East End of Long Island. She was also a source for a Discovery Channel special in 2012, where a portion of a video she shot and edited for local Long Island press was used.  She's also a contributor at Thrive Global and she's looking to share her writing at more outlets once again. 

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