Speak-Up-Women-Live-General-Graphic-2.21.17.png

February 21, 2017 0

By Jennifer S. Wilkov, Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

It is with thoughtful sadness and great hope that I am writing to inform you that I need to postpone the Speak Up Women Conference to the fall.

#SpeakUpWomenLIVE Announcement by Founder Jennifer S. Wilkov of Postponement of Speak Up Women Conference

Jennifer S. Wilkov #SpeakUpWomenLIVE Announcement 2.21.17

Early morning on Valentine’s Day this past Tuesday, Andy, my boyfriend, and I had a fire in our apartment. At 3am, I woke up to the black smoke that was billowing into our bedroom from the hallway. Something on Andy’s desk caught fire and his whole desk was up in flames from floor to ceiling when I walked into our office. First, and most important, we are both okay and so are our two cats. The fire department came, put out the fire, and we all got out. Everyone in our building (upstairs neighbor – a couple with a baby – and downstairs neighbor) are all okay too. The insurance lady I spoke with said I saved everyone. If I had woken up an hour later, she and I would have been having a completely different conversation.

The aftermath: We have soot, smoke and toxic fumes in everywhere and everything in our apartment. We are working with the insurance companies, our landlord, and the entire fire remediation process — which is overwhelming — to recover from this disaster. We have been displaced from our home for at least a month. Everything we have has to either be cleaned, repaired or replaced.

That said, the other piece of information I want to share with you is that I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer at the end of November and started chemotherapy treatments in late January, after a surgical procedure to implant a mediport in my chest. While this was devastating news, I was confident that I could produce the conference effectively amidst the resulting unanticipated difficulties that have arisen from the chemo for me — including now having 4 blood clots in my lungs. I was planning to share this information from the stage at the beginning of the event.

If it was just the cancer, I would have continued to produce the conference as intended, even amidst the chemotherapy treatments I started in January. With the follow-on stress and trauma of the fire and its aftermath, I don’t have the capacity to really produce these final critical weeks of the conference at the quality they need to be done, including the proper attention to you and everyone involved.

Depending on how well you know me, mediocrity just doesn’t cut it with me. This event and its experience for everyone is too important to me to just wing it. I believe in providing high quality, meaningful experiences for everyone.

The best part of this for me is that I’m alive and here to still provide and produce this amazing meaningful event for you and everyone involved.

I do hope that you will support the Speak Up Women Conference efforts and that you can understand why I had to make this very hard decision after I learned these past two days how complicated the fire remediation process and recovery from this traumatic event will be during next several weeks for me and my family.

I appreciate you very much and I look forward to an even greater event with you in the fall!

###

 

Thank you.

Warmly with Gratitude and Grace,

~ Jennifer

Jennifer S. Wilkov

Founder, Speak Up Women Conference

Speak Up World LLC

www.SpeakUpWomen.com

 

 


the_waterbearers-facebook_banner_2.jpg

March 8, 2016

What if you could not wash your face and hands, brush your teeth, take a shower, or drink clean water? What would your life be like?

 

For 780 million people across the planet, this is their daily reality.

 

Jennifer S. Wilkov, the founder of Speak Up Women, has joined forces with The Waterbearers movement to help raise funds to provide 1 million people with clean water by World Water Day, March 22, 2016.

 

Waterbearers Logo

 

The Waterbearers movement is inspiring women who have access to clean water to get it to those who do not. As a Team Leader, Jennifer has the goal of reaching out to others and their inner circles to bring in 100 donated water filters. 100 people x 100 water filters will mean that a million people may have clean drinking water for first times in their lives.

 

the_waterbearers-facebook_banner_2

 

The Waterbearers work with their partner, Waves for Water, to distribute water filters to those with the highest and most immediate needs worldwide. They use the most advanced, hollow fiber membrane filters that are small, portable, easy-to-use, and can last a decade without needing to be replaced. One filter and its distribution to places in need costs just $50 and provides clean water for up to 100 people. They are currently used in more than 70 countries worldwide.

 

100% of donations go to Waves for Water.org, a 501(c)(3), and is tax-deductible.

To donate,
go to https://fundraise.thewaterbearers.org/fund…/speak-up-women.

Help women help women provide one million people with clean water by World Water Day, March 22nd, 2016.

 

Margaret Mead said,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

 

She was right.

 

Join the movement.

Donate and help people have clean drinking water,
perhaps for the very first time in their lives.

 

the_waterbearers_meme_2

 

The next Speak Up Women Conference will be at the United Nations on Friday, March 3rd. Save the Date! Don’t miss out on this elite experience to raise your game, and your life, to the next level by learning how to really speak up and make an impact.


Victoria-Moran-2.jpg

March 4, 2016

Guest Post from Victoria Moran, Keynote Speaker at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

It can take courage to speak out – whether for your rights, your opinions, or for something in which you believe deeply and know that not everyone does. The key to speaking with certainty and integrity is to know that what you’re saying comes from deep within you, from the core of who you are where your truth lives. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you take the stage or take a stand. And don’t just ask: wait for the answers that will well up if you’re patient. Writing in a journal is a wonderful way to access the wisdom you carry around already, and get your own customized responses to the queries that will make you speak powerfully and passionately.

 

Victoria Moran

 

 

  • What are my values? . . . Sometimes all it takes to know what to do or say is to call up your personal values. And because values can change, deepen, and mature, “What are my values?” is an important question to ask yourself periodically – on your birthday perhaps, or at the New Year. It’s both liberating and motivating to be so well acquainted with your values that you could recite them on demand. My husband was working with this question and announced, “My values spell ditch: discretion, integrity, tolerance, civility, humility.” He was so pleased with his discovery that he had a bracelet made with his values engraved on it. You may want to do something similar, but as long as your values are engraved on your psyche and acted on in your life, that’s enough.

 

  • What does my body have to say about this? … We come from a culture that has long mistrusted the physical body. It’s been seen as the stepchild of the soul, a necessary evil, a confusing juxtaposition of God’s handiwork and the devil’s playground. It is, rather, a vortex of intelligence. Every cell and the millions of atoms comprising each one come equipped with awareness. Your body has something in the neighborhood of 40 trillion cells – that’s quite a consulting committee. Call on it when you’re confused or undecided as to what to say or how to say it. Get in a quiet, relaxed state and ask what your body has to say about staying in the relationship, taking on the volunteer commitment, or moving to another city. Then scan your body and note its sensations. Around the area of your heart, are you picking up the excitement that says “Yes!” even if there’s also a little anxiety about doing something new? Or in your abdominal region, are you feeling something more akin to dread, the fabled “gut reaction” telling you to take another path?

 

  • What am I not seeing? … We all live with blinders on. They come with having a personal vantage point. And yet the answer to a how-to-say-what-I-need-to-say dilemma may lie in seeing just another millimeter of the situation. Ask, then, what you’re not seeing here. This is not a request for superhuman sight, just a slightly broader view. Often, what we’re not seeing is what we don’t want to see. Let’s say you want to talk with your boss about your discomfort on the job. If you were to see just a bit more of the picture, you might learn (or remember) that the problem isn’t the job per se, but that this job isn’t utilizing a talent you’re yearning to express. Once you see that, you can speak with surgical precision, saying what you need to say without making the other person wrong.

 

  • What really matters here? … What’s the priority, the unaccessorized significance in this circumstance? In his classic of the spiritual life, At the Feet of the Master, Krishnamurti writes that as we mature internally, it’s essential to discern not just right from wrong, but more important from less important. Whether it’s making your to-do list for the day and prioritizing its entries, or figuring out which impromptu demands you can tend to in this twenty-hour period and which ones will have to wait, you need to engage in this discernment, to ask yourself what really matters. Generally speaking, things with feelings – i.e., living beings, particularly those closest to you – will take precedence. You’ll learn what’s of greatest consequence to you, in this particular instance, by asking yourself what really matters.

 

  • Is this a situation in which speaking out right now is the thing to do, or am I better to step back and give Life room to move? … Ask this, expecting to get a sense of what is yours to do and say and what isn’t. This is the advanced class of enlightened living. You can probably count on your fingers of one hand the number of times you’ve taken an action that was, in itself, wrongheaded, absurd, or unconscionable. Countless times, however, we’ve all acted too soon or without sufficient information, or we’ve stepped in where our input wasn’t needed and muddied circumstances that were already working themselves out. When you ask yourself, quietly and confidently, what your part is in a given situation, and where to wait (or exit entirely), you’ll get a clear idea of your role. If you ask the question and you still want to barge in and act against the advice of your internal coach, remind yourself that, although life is a series of little dramas, none of them needs a drama queen.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience! 

 

Victoria Moran is the author of a dozen books including Creating a Charmed Life and Main Street Vegan. She’s a podcaster and inspirational speaker who loves New York City, aerial yoga, and her rescue dog, Forbes.


VCommunity-Graphic.png

March 3, 2016

Guest Post from Karen Cahn, Panelist, Speak Up In Your Community Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

       When I was going through a divorce, I turned to the Internet to find solace, shared experience and compassion from other women who were going through the same difficult experience.  I didn’t find much by way of “support”, but I did find lots of haters and trolls who made disparaging, disrespectful and hurtful comments about divorce and family issues.  The reality was, there was no safe space for people to have an open dialogue about tough personal issues without being cut down. I realized if I wanted such a space, I needed to stand up and to create it myself.  As a woman, I knew instinctively that women need talk therapy to survive, and for the most part, your friends and family are not the right people to talk with because it’s just not all that comfortable, there’s judgement, sadness on the part of whoever is listening to you, blah blah. It’s for this reason, that my team created technology to allow users to participate publicly or privately, so they could either be public about an issue or they could remain anonymous and speak more freely.  

karen cahn

       We tested our technology on VProud.tv, a video-driven conversation platform, built for women by women.  VProud’s mission is to cultivate honest conversations among women in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.  We built the technology for VProud around the idea that everyone should have a voice and be able to share their opinion in a venue that is kind, respectful and free from trolls.  The Internet gives everyone a voice but it is challenging to find a place to share that voice without being cut down by others.  Unfortunately, this is particularly a problem for women. Women’s voices, opinions and bodies are constantly being berated on the Internet.  We wanted to stand up and put an end to the online bullying and shaming, so I created a place for women to talk about the issues that were important to them in a safe community platform.

        When we launched VProud.tv, we were inspired by the high levels of engagement, and the incredible amounts of time women who found the site were spending on it, watching video and reading the conversation.  We knew we were ready to start licensing our patent-pending software platform to brands and websites with the hopes of allowing any brand with a website to create safe online communities for their users, whether they were talking about sports, food, technology, or any topic.   VCommunity was built to give people a fun and immersive online video experience while also allowing users the ability to stand up and have a voice about the issues that matter to them.  Through VCommunity, we are using technology to allowing anyone to stand up and have a voice.

VCommunity Graphic

       In the midst of all of this, I was talking to a colleague, Naama Bloom, founder of HelloFlo about the misinformation plaguing the Internet regarding women’s health and family wellness.  Naama and I decided to join together as partners and build a learning platform that allows women to get help about the physical or emotional issues they are experiencing from female doctors and experts. I believe that you can speak up for yourself by trying to solve your health problems.  Unfortunately, many women are unable to do this because they don’t have access to medical experts, who can be expensive, geographically prohibiting or impossible to get an appointment with.  We wanted to make these experts accessible to everyone so we created Learn From Her, a private e-learning platform for women. Our mission is to normalize the conversation about women’s and family health by bringing trustworthy, no-nonsense female experts to people globally, for the cost of a co-pay. Our classes offer a shame and judgment-free, private environment for women to learn about their own bodies and the health and well-being of their families.

        Lastly, through VProud and Learn From Her, I realized how hard it is for women to speak up about mental health issues.  Society has come a long way in the past few decades regarding mental health understanding, but there is still a long way to go.  The truth of the matter is that WE ALL suffer from mental health issues, whether it is directly or through association.  I wanted to normalize mental health issues because I’ve found that stigma comes from misunderstanding or lack of information. VProud was selected to be a part of the first-ever YouTube Global Initiative for Women.  The campaign launches in March for Women’s History Month and is intended to highlight the best up-and-coming female YouTube creators. We knew that we wanted to work on a project that focused on female mental health.  VProud’s project, You’re Not Crazy, is a mental health themed variety show, consisting of raw, dynamic conversations between diverse women, interspersed with stand-up comedy & storytelling from our favorite comedians. If we can talk openly and honestly (and laugh a little) about mental health issues, we can help to allow women to speak up and get the help that they need and deserve.

        In my life and career, I have found that by speaking up for yourself and your own needs can help other people to do the same thing.  If my voice can help people feel less alone, and direct them towards the tools they need to speak up for themselves, I believe I have had a successful career.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience!


Trumpbour-Kelly-Keenan-Headshot-2.jpg

March 1, 2016

Guest Post from Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, Founder of See Jane Invest and Moderator, Speak Up for Financing Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

I’m an angel investor, which means companies directly ask for my money. Because I work with angel investing groups, I choose among entrepreneurs who have made it through a tough selection process. They present their ideas to me and my colleagues at monthly pitch meetings hoping to secure sizable checks.

 

Kelly Keenan Trumpbour - Moderator, Speak Up for Financing Panel

Frequently, I am the only female investor in the room. The majority of companies pitching us have zero women founders in the mix. That’s changing, and I’m happy to report seeing more and more women at the helm of great ideas. I’ve been privileged to see suburb pitches from women founders who are on fire, and I am left with the unenviable task of choosing among them.

 

And yet, more often than I would like, when other female-founded companies are in front of me, the person telling me about it isn’t always the woman who created it. It’s often a guy.

 

Can I tell you how often I see a woman founder’s picture in a company’s slideshow, but the woman herself is not in the room with me? Do you know how many times women co-founders take a seat in the back of the room, ready and available for our follow-up questions, but they are not running the presentation?

 

It makes me want to rewrite the Tammy Wynette classic and belt from the top of my lungs, “STAND BY YOUR IDEA!! (twang twang twang) . . . . And show the world you love it!”

 

Ladies . . . LADIES!!! Just give me one other example, anywhere in your life, where you hand the microphone to a guy so he can explain your thought process about something you care so very deeply about.

 

Because I don’t hear random guys saying things like, “Well Bob, Ella went vegan in college because she believes in a cruelty free, sustainable food model, which is why she’s hoping you will offer her tofu from now on!” Or, “You know what Ron, that’s a great question. Does Tanya want to get married someday? I think the important question here is does she want to get married to you. And while we are so delighted by your interest, I think you can see that her brand will need to hold out for more.”

 

I know what you put into these companies. Many of you have maxed out credit cards, taken out another mortgage on a house, skipped sleep, ignored friends and exasperated family members. And then your team comes to pitch me and I don’t see you at the front of the room telling me why it is all (still) worth it.

 

And I think I know why. It’s not necessarily a lack of confidence or self-esteem. I think it’s because you care so very much about your idea that you want to entrust its communication to the very best possible messenger. If you are going to walk into a room full of mostly male investors, why not offer them your male co-founder? It’s smart. Like can attract like. But it’s also safe, and it bets against you being the best possible messenger.

 

If you have made it far enough as an entrepreneur to pitch me, you have found a way to live with risk. Maybe it’s never become what you might call comfy (and it never will), but like a decent roommate, you’re familiar enough with its rhythms to sleep a few hours most nights.

 

If you have enough of the gambler in you to put tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars behind your concept, risk a steady paycheck somewhere else, and cash in every favor for one shot at the gold ring, why not bet on your voice being the best voice?

 

Your job as the startup founder will always be far more difficult than my job as an investor. I don’t envy the strain you volunteer for, even if I admire your tenacity. But when I invest, I invest only in women-owned companies. I’m quite public about that. It’s on my websites, my social media pages, and my business cards. Two minutes into a conversation with me, and you will know I invest in women-led startups. Why? Because it matters to me that other people see and hear about an angel investor who expects women to be as present as men in the startup industry.

 

In putting my money where my mouth is, I’m hoping to model the change you need to get more investment. To get my investment, I need you to speak up and stand by your idea.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience!


Sullivan-Jeanne-Headshot.jpeg

March 1, 2016

Guest Post from Jeanne Sullivan, Co-Founder of StarVest Partners and Panelist, Speak Up for Financing Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

Three important places where your VOICE really counts:

 

  • In the Workplace:

This past year I was invited to deliver a TEDx for Barnard College. I am a Barnard Entrepreneur Fellow and this platform was one of the privileges. My theme was exactly the title of this post today. Here is why this title is so important to me – Women need to learn to find their voice and use it. How appropriate that this gathering is the Speak Up Women Conference.

In my TEDx talk, I used this theme related to dealing with Bullies, Bozos and Buffoons in the workplace. As anyone knows or has worked for more than month for a company an organization or firm, these people are everywhere (unfortunately). The approach that works best is to find one’s voice with these hard-to-deal-with people. Bosses, colleagues, customers, vendors and more. I believe the more effective approach is to use humor which often works to disarm the offender. I know one thing that does NOT work – and that is remaining silent and boiling over with anger and resentment.

 

  • When selling your idea, product or service:

 

Hone your ability to “sell” your idea, product or service.

I am a long-time venture capital investor and now Angel investor and advisor.  I am amazed that CEOs often cannot package their “story”.

Sullivan, Jeanne HeadshotYes…” story” is the operative word – I want you to tell me the genesis of your company – how you will execute and your plans and vision to build it big. How will you scale your business? Tell me about the “Business of the Business”. Don’t just fall in love with your product or tell me about the features and functions. Tell me about the channels where you plan sell this product or service. Lay out your marketing plan. Describe yourself as CEO and your team and track record. Lay out the financials around the business – how much capital you will require over time and your milestones.

Of course, investors want to hear about your product or service. But entrepreneurs need to remember that the primary goal of an investor is to make money – and they want to hear how you plan to make that money from their investment. And speaking of financials – Know your financials an I mean cold!”

 

Ladies – most of us are BAD at this but “You can learn this stuff”.

 

Get a finance professional at your side who can teach you. Let others show you how to understand the numbers and bring them to the meeting. When the snarky angel or VC says ‘What are the gross margins?’ And you have a blank look on your face, guess what? You got the first meeting, but you won’t get the second.”

 

“Investors want you to be stewards of their money.”

 

In an organization, these lessons are equally important. Imagine that you have a new idea or product for your line of business or company. Again, when packaging your idea – think about how to be most effective in presenting this innovation, new process or product. These are the stepping stones toward success for yourself and for the business.

 

  • Your Patter:

 

A talented PR person helped me along the way with this one.   Someone asks you to introduce yourself at a meeting, a party, a job interview. Package yourself with a few short phrases that …tells your story. Just start listening to others and you will quickly see the difference between doing this well or not.

 

Finding One’s Voice –

And…this discussion is part of the journey of life! It takes time and continuous practice in many settings to learn to be articulate – find one’s voice – to be packaged! I am always amazed and in awe of the young, articulate people who do this well. We can learn from each other – I am still learning every day.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations and hearing about your experience!

 

Link with me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeannemsullivan

Connect with me: @Gianna212

 


Laura-Fredricks-Headshot-e1450205818146-1200x1201.jpg

February 16, 2016

Guest Post from Laura Fredricks, Panelist, Speak Up for Financing Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

I was doing a radio interview with a fabulous, bright young entrepreneur named Maddy who was starting her own business creating 3-D patterns to make clothes. I was brought on the show specifically to hear her story and give my advice on how she could raise the money to launch her new business. She just did a TED Talk on the topic, so her energy and her promise of a successful business were sky high.

LauraFredricks TheAsk

Maddy told me she had some initial people in mind to ask for the money. One in particular was her mentor, the person who helped her create the business plan for this new venture. Maddy was very organized about her approach to asking people for money. She said her mentor would be “fabulous” to ask because “she was wealthy and really liked” Maddy. Maddy had in mind asking her for a serious six-figure investment in her business. When I asked Maddy why she hadn’t already asked her mentor for money, she couldn’t answer me. Her reluctance to ask puzzled her; she didn’t think her mentor would be offended or that it would alienate their relationship.

So I asked Maddy one simple question: “What does money mean to you?” She looked surprised and answered, “I hadn’t really thought about it. Why did you ask?”

I replied, “When you ask for money, this comes up. All the emotions, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs you have about money come flooding in; I am certain that is why you haven’t asked her for money.”

She thought about it and said, “I think you’re right; I better give this some thought.”

I told her to try to think of money as the best 3-D pattern she ever created, that it was green and flowed and would be the model outfit that every designer envied and copied. Then she should ask her mentor for money.

I circled back with Maddy a few weeks later, and I received the most wonderful email from her. She asked her mentor for money, and her mentor was giving her much more than she asked. Way to go, Maddy!

The first step in anyone’s journey when you ask for money is to answer “What does money mean to you?” It’s the step that everyone skips over. The focus is always on how much to ask for and who to ask. But if you do not have a good relationship with money any ask you make will not go well. If you need to work out your money worries, and have the best relationship with money, I have a 30-Day FREE Money Wellness Program you can check out.

The next step is where you have to change your mindset. Memorize this, live by this and watch your finance asks skyrocket:

When you ASK for Money, You are Not Taking Something Away. You are giving Someone an Opportunity.

Think of Maddy. Her first thoughts were that she would be taking something away from her mentor not what she would be adding to her mentor’s business and her mentor’s life.

In my 25+ years of training and coaching CEO’s; President’s: Four-Star Generals; Multi-millionaire entrepreneurs, Rabbis, Priests, and anyone who wants to start or enhance a business or a charity, the #1 thing that holds them back~ they project that asking for money means taking something away. Just think about this. The ask has not even been made and we are already second-guessing that the person will say no because it will take away their money! Practice my money opportunity mantra and believe in the opportunities you can offer many people from this moment forward. For more great practical and success tips on how to ask for money, you can read my bestselling book: “The ASK: How to ASK for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture”.

Here is your real motivation to have the best relationship with money. People who worry about money are:

  • 3x more likely to have a digestive disorder;
  • 10x more likely to suffer from headaches or migraines; and
  • 6x more likely to experience depression.

Report by American Psychology Association “Stress in America.”

EVERY decision you make in life involves money. Do you buy coffee or make coffee? Do you take mass transit or do you drive? Do you take a vacation away or take the time to just stay home? Do you have an extravagant wedding or something smaller with close family and friends? The list goes on and on, but once you realize that EVERY decision you make in life involves money, which can build up so much stress and affect your health, you should put every effort into having the best relationship with money. In my most recent book just out February 2016: “Money Wellness: Is Money Making Your $ick?”, I take a deep dive into how our thoughts about money affect our happiness; sleep; diet; exercise; relaxation; spirituality; creativity; and yes, even our fun. I then share numerous ways you can work through and beyond some major Money Blockers that are preventing you from asking for money. So if you are like many people and you want to have the best relationship with money and NOT have it affect your health, this book is your salvation!

Now that you have the tools to have the best relationship with money and you know that asking for money is an opportunity, is there a right way to ask? My resounding answer is YES. Over the years I have brought:

Organization – Structure – Focus

to the process of making the ASK so that you can see there is a process, the right way to ask anyone for money. I created THE FIVE STEP PROCESS FOR ANY ASK. In life, people gravitate towards structure and process so that their activity is not random, or unpredictable. The Five Step Process For Any Ask places structure to what otherwise may be a random and unpredictable ask. I’ve worked with many people and organizations world-wide with this process with amazing results. Want to know what it is so that YOU can have resounding results when you ask for money for your business or yourself?

Well, I will share it with you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5, 2016 at the United Nations! See you there!!