Archive | February 2012

Are you a reluctant Entrepreneur?

“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” ~Howard Stevenson~ 

Reluctant

This is a note for ‘reluctant’ Entrepreneurs!

To become a successful Entrepreneur, it is important to first establish what it means to be one. Most people erroneously believe that Entrepreneurship is limited to simply creating great and marketable inventions or running profitable businesses ventures.

You can be an employee with a regular 9-5 job and still be an ‘entrepreneur’. You can be in professional services and be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is LESS about a one-off or meteoric success but more about your attitude and mindset.

It is about how you monetize your skills and talents, your ability to see what isn’t visible to other people, a knack for creating comparative advantages and an ability to lead the curve.

Most significantly, entrepreneurship is reflected in your approach to problem-solving and risk-taking. (Note that entrepreneurs do not necessarily take bigger risks than others, rather, they have a deeper understanding of the ‘risk-reward’ relationship and manage it effectively with better creative and monetary payoffs and/or outcomes).

Entrepreneurship is a consistent and persistent process that is more about the journey and the commitment to creating better solutions without the constraints of resources.

As Howard Stevenson puts it: ” Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”

‘Reluctant’ Entrepreneurship’ is a growing trend, especially in this period of economic recession. It is also a more common feature among ‘womEntrepreneurs’, this is because women are affected by so many other factors which make their career growth path in the labour force non linear. Some examples of such factors are: Maternity leave, unexpected job loss and downsizing, taking time off to care for elderly parents (sandwich generation), growing desire towards socially responsible businesses etc.

So ladies, if you are not quite certain whether you are a reluctant entrepreneur, here are some pointers to give you better clarity:

1. You always seem to have great business ideas and concepts but lack the resources, discipline and focus to follow through on them and if you do follow through you make unrealistic financial projections.

2. You are thoroughly dissatisfied with your current job but you are caught in a familiar dilemma: to settle for a steady stream of income/security or dive into uncertain waters, pursuing a creative and fulfilling path with zero guarantee of success, monetary or otherwise!

3. You are skilled at providing valuable solutions and solving problems for friends, family and colleagues but you are still very uncomfortable with the concept of monetizing your skills.

4. You are certifiably unemployable; constantly attending events and networking, always seeking and open to new opportunities, diligently researching the viability of different products and services. However, you haven’t quite found real sustainable success with the ‘one’.

5. The only reason that you’re even considering entrepreneurship is due to a downturn in the economy and the fact that your chances of re-entering the labour market is almost non existent. You hope to be in business temporarily until you find work again.

6. You grew up in an environment where success was defined as being a professional-Doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, accountant etc and so you succumbed to family and societal pressure, went through decades of schooling, earned multiple degree(s), got the 9-5 gig but always felt unfulfilled because you failed to act on those seemingly ‘unpractical ideas’ you’ve nurtured and refined over the years…..

If you identified with at least 2 of these points listed above, you’re most likely a reluctant entrepreneur!

So now that we’ve established that, lets share some tips and strategies on how to take some simple, practical yet effective steps and help you get off the fence,  ‘own’ your entrepreneurial calling, ignite those dormant ‘passion’ business genes to dissolve your sense of reluctance and finally get you to be on the path of sustainable success.

Here are some simple steps to address the 6 points above:

1. Pick one of your business ideas, do your market research, test it, develop it, focus on it and run with it!

2. Work hard at your day job and work harder on your passion and/or idea. Continue doing both until the income from the latter surpasses the former or at least until your business becomes sustainable. Understand and use the different dimensions of time. Learn to leverage your resources (time, money, energy and networks).

3. Engage the services of a ‘life and business coach’ and turn your skills and passion into a money maker! (Tip: your local chamber or small business resource centre  most likely offers this service for free). Whenever possible, learn to also pay for critical services or solutions that will take you to the next level. Begin to view money as a medium used to exchange values.

4. Network meaningfully with purpose and keep engaging/building up your prospect list while you decide on the product or service offering for your business. Position yourself as a resource person; offer value and proffer solutions to challenges for free and then learn how to monetize your skills by understanding your true worth.

5. Focus less on ‘why’ you are an entrepreneur and more on the ‘how’ to be a successful one. A focus on ‘HOW’ will lead to solutions, resources and collaboration/joint ventures. Take disciplined, consistent and focused ACTIONS. Have an accountability system and measure your results.

6. Surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs. If you can, find a mentor. Remember that they may cut across many different fields-business, arts, e-commerce, social media, education, medicine, education, not-for-profit, sports, religion etc You reflect the attitude and actions of those around you. Model excellent behaviour in others. Understand the different business models in your industry and choose the right one to build your business upon. Think of what you want your legacy to be and let that be your yardstick to stay focused and committed.

Entrepreneurship requires sustained passion and commitment, especially during tough periods of growth in your business. You cannot have the success you desire if you are ‘reluctant’ about your pursuit. You cannot be lukewarm in your approach by sitting on the fence, you need to get off the toxic fence and choose one side of the entrepreneurial divide; to be or not to be! You have to BE a success to be a success. In the words of the Nike slogan: Just do it! And do it with everything you have, for as long as it takes. No half-measures allowed! Remember that whatever you focus on, EXPANDS! So focus! focus! focus! Welcome to success.

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Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.

You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!

w(H)olistically Yours,

© Whole Woman Network

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The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Life-Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Leadership, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women, regardless of their levels of income,  to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-Based, Scientific and Common-Sense principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc

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International Women’s Day 2012: A ‘must watch’ movie for all women!

Note: Angel  Freedman is a recent recipient of the Quarterly

W.O.W : Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman” Award by Whole Woman Network [September-December, 2011]

Pink Ribbons, Inc: A thought-provoking documentary by Lea Pool

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th every year and for the fourth year here in Richmond Hill. The event will be presented at the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts. International Women’s Day, Richmond Hill, is pleased to announce the Toronto International Film Festival Official Selection, the thought-provoking National Film Board Documentary by Lea Pool, Pink Ribbons, Inc. to take place on Thursday, March 8th, at 7:30 p.m. This is a must see, must attend evening!

The International Women’s Day event will commence with a silent auction. You will discover an array of beautiful merchandise and services donated by local and regional business owners who so generously donate to International Women’s Day and support the Women’s Support Network of York Region every year. The silent auction will commence at 6:15 p.m. and will end at 10:00 pm.

Tickets are on sale for $20.00 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts –  www.rhcentre.ca

10268 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, Box Office 905-787-8811

Following the film, we invite you to an Apres Cinema Reception offering light refreshments. Everyone is invited to browse the silent auction, make your final bids and enjoy conversation with other like-minded celebrants at this notable occasion.

Opportunities for sponsorship, silent auction donations, and/or general enquiries please contact:

Angel Freedman, 905-780-8119 www.angelfreedman.com

We look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day with you once again.

Please visit www.angelfreedman.com to watch the trailer for the film. Let’s fill the theatre with 631 people and enlighten everyone on the exploitation of the pink ribbon.

Warmly,
Angel

Press Release by the National Film Board

“Inspired by the book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy by Samantha KingPink Ribbons, Inc. shows how some companies use breast cancer cause-marketing to boost sales, while often contributing only a tiny fraction of proceeds to the cause. It also explores how companies that pollute or sell products containing dangerous chemicals are in on the action, too, using “pink washing” to polish their images, and even shaping the direction of cancer research. The end result is that the environmental causes of breast cancer have been largely ignored, with only a minuscule fraction of the funds going to prevention research.”

“Pink Ribbons, Inc. also takes us back to the questionable origins of the ubiquitous ribbon. Charlotte Haley was a 68-year-old American woman using peach-coloured ribbons to specifically call attention to the lack of funding for breast cancer prevention. When a cosmetics giant wanted in, Haley refused, because she believed that the company was out to boost profits rather than help women. But she couldn’t stop them when they changed the colour of the ribbon to pink.”

“Most heartbreaking are the sick and dying women who’ve been pushed to the margins because they don’t suit the triumphal upbeat image of the pink ribbon narrative, what author Samantha King calls “the tyranny of cheerfulness.”

“This is an intriguing doc [that] will have you talking long after the lights come up.” – Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

Ladies, What is your W.O.W?

W.O.W: ‘Willing to do in One Week to change your life for the better?’

Today’s post is really all about the small and simple practical steps we should take in order to be the change we want to see. A lot happened during the week to make us all reflect on our purpose in life. The world lost a musical icon but most importantly, it would be apt to surmise that as a people, we also gained a deeper awareness of how the choices we make can either make or mar the trajectory of our lives.

It is very easy to make lofty plans, talk about big dreams and set even bigger goals. Yet, many of us seem to stumble when it comes to actually taking the steps/actions required to  fulfill our dreams. Take ACTION 1

Welcome to the unending cycle of procrastination! It is a land filled with well-intentioned dreamers, who simply lacked the discipline to develop the right  ‘actions-habits-character’!

So today, in line with our mission at Whole Woman Network to act as catalysts and motivate women with a compelling call to action, we invite you to participate in the W.O.W exercise. Let us start off by asking a simple question:

“What is your W.O.W? That is, what are you ‘Willing to do in One Week to change your life for the better?”

This is a simple exercise that requires 3 things: serious reflection, firm commitment and sincere accountability.

1. Identify and write down 3 areas of your life you wish to improve upon. For example: Spiritual, Financial, Career, Business, Health, Relationships, Beauty, Community Service etc

2. Make a list of accountability partners for each of the 3 areas identified in #1 above. It may be a trusted friend, a colleague, a family member, your pastor/priest/faith mentor etc Contact them and develop a platform of understanding; share your expectations, the deliverables and their roles .

3. What are your goals with respect to each area? Remember your goals must be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Some examples: Spiritual (Rediscover your faith), Career (Find a new job in your field in 6 months), Health (Attain a healthy Body Mass Index  in 3 months), Financial (Pay off 75% of debts in 9 months and grow net worth by 25%), Relationships (Build stronger ties with 6 family members and 6 close friends), Beauty & Grooming, Business (Start a new business)…

4. Identify 3 activities that you need to do in one week towards achieving your goals identified in #3 above. Some examples are given below:

Spirituality (Confess and start anew, Attend a place of worship regularly, Read your bible daily, Join a faith-based group and participate actively, talk and walk your faith, BE a better person,  Give up at least ONE bad habit, Promise yourself to never give up the fight; stand up after every fall etc);

Career (Update your cover letter and resume, time-block two hours each day for job applications, join 3 industry related organizations and network for an hour each week etc);

Health (Eat 75% unprocessed food, Exercise for 5 hours each week, take recommended dose of daily vitamins and supplements etc);

Finance (Do a financial self audit to determine your assets and liabilities, Apply 25% of earnings each month and aggressively pay off debts, Open a TFSA account and invest 10% of earnings monthly etc);

Relationships (Connect periodically with family and friends-phone, email, social media), Celebrate milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries, Prioritize and create great memories with loved ones  etc);

Business (Register your business, Develop a workable business/marketing plan, Grow your prospect/client list through word-of-mouth, networking and print/social media, Attend business-related workshops and implement trainings etc);

Beauty & Grooming (De-clutter your wardrobe, Change your hair style, Pamper yourself at a spa, Do a make-over, Engage in a hobby etc);

Community Service (Donate personal effects from the de-cluttering exercise above-bags/clothes/shoes etc to a thrift store, De-clutter your pantry/cupboards and donate non-perishable items to a food bank, Volunteer for at least 1 hr per month at a community centre, church, children’s school, Practice generosity without any agenda-give of your time, money, skills, faith  etc)

5. Remember  to ‘Say less and do more’. Track your progress at the end of the week. Tweak and repeat the process all over again……..

Focus! Focus! Focus! ACT NOW! Take ACTION 2

Let us be the first to say: ‘Welcome to the path that leads to sustainable success’!!!

Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.

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Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.

You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!

w(H)olistically Yours,

 © Whole Woman Network

BLOGGER BIO: The preceding blog entry is from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc

A Valentine Wish For All Couples!

English: Romance icon

Whole Woman Network’s wish for all couples:

-May you each learn and practice ‘self love’ so that you can truly love the other person. For it is only in first loving yourself that you truly love another. You  give only what you have.

-May you transit beautifully from the giddiness and passion of ‘blind’ romantic love to a deeper, filling, abiding love that allows you to ‘see’ each other exactly as you are and still love deeply.

-May you always remember that marriage is freestyle and your style will evolve over the years but the foundation remains same: mutual love, respect and putting the other person FIRST above all others even self.

-May you find sweet solace from the stress of the rat race in each other’s warm embrace.

-May you always answer each other’s phone calls with a smile in your voice.

-May you never lose your sense of humor and sense of self.

-May you always remember sweet tender moments and learn from difficult experiences but choose to leave any painful hurt in the past where they truly belong.

-May you consciously take time and resources to create memories that will fuel your relationship in periods of droughts.

-May you take time off from life and dance barefoot to your own music, a composition from your hearts and souls.

-May you grow towards the light, in different forms but ultimately together, in the same direction.

-May you always find each other in this crowded maze of life.

-May you live out your ‘I love you’ in your words, actions, inactions and thoughts.

-May your love be from an eternal spring of freedom and joy and never from a place of fear and resentment.

-May you pray together, play together and stay together.

-May God keep and bless you forever!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.

You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!

w(H)olistically Yours,

© Whole Woman Network

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-2012): Celebrating ‘The Voice’….

Just Whitney

Image via Wikipedia

It has taken a full day to process the news and finally be able to post an entry on this blog. On Feb 11 2012, the sad news reverberated around the world that Ms Whitney Elizabeth Houston, aka ‘The Voice’ had died at the age of 48.

Different reactions continue to trail her death; pain, shock, regret and even anger, at the waste of such an iconic and beautiful talent. Perhaps Eva Longoria best captured the mood of the whole world in her very poignant tweet: ” Today,  I am simply heart-broken”.

The Whole Woman Network celebrates Ms Houston’s phenomenal talent which transcended race, age and religion through her greatest gifts to us: her catalog of songs and that VOICE!

What are your favourite Whitney songs and what do they mean to you?

We posed the question to the group and here are the top 5 picks:

1. ‘I will always love you’

Originally written by the great Dolly Parton.  It was initially penned and sung as a bluesy-country song and Whitney did an unsurpassed cover of all covers!  She stirred our souls and had our spirit soaring when she effortlessly and flawlessly hit those other-worldly note!

2.  I wanna dance with somebody

This was the soundtrack of our youth. It was the background of many social nights; a coming of age, up-tempo song with just the right blend of innocence and an underlying maturity.

3.  ‘I’m every woman’

Another cover accomplished with Whitney’s distinctive flavour of power and presence. A song originally done by the legendary Chaka Khan but it would take Whitney to bring it to a newer generation of women. When she sang it, we all seemed to shared the authenticity of the lyrics and really believed.

4. A two-way tie betweenOne moment in time‘ and ‘The greatest love of all

These two songs stand out for being very inspirational and transcendental. Once in a long while, songs come along that unlock something deep within us and show us that there are no boundaries to our capabilities and we can all be so much more.

5. ‘I didn’t know my own strength’

Again, another winner of a song that speaks to the power within and the dimension to our spirits that is unstoppable, unquenchable and unbeatable!

Whitney played out her life on the world stage; the good, the great and the very ugly. Her death, though painful, gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the choices that we each face daily.

It is a chance to take a fresh and sober look at our lives- both our challenges and our triumphs, our passions and our weaknesses and most importantly our legacies….Mortality is a fickle thing. We must have the courage to pursue our purpose. We must find the faith to build only relationships that edify us before our creator. And the discernment to make the right choices and constantly seek new ways to serve others and add value . More than ever, we must decide to live our best lives NOW!!!

RIP Ms Whitney Elizabeth Houston.

 

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Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.

You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!

w(H)olistically Yours,

© Whole Woman Network