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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.  

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       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.

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       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!



March 3, 2016

Guest Post from Tai Beauchamp, Panelist, How to Speak Up & What’s Holding You Back Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

TV Personality, entrepreneur, and influencer shares why she chooses to seek life harmony

I’m often asked, “How do you do it all?” My response is usually a simple “I don’t do it all.” After a quizzical stare, she might rephrase the question adding more detail in an effort to help clarify exactly what she means, “Well, how do you balance all that you have going on? I mean you work in TV and media. You have your own company. You travel the world for business and for pleasure. Right?”

“Yes, all of that is true,” I answer in a rather matter of fact tone.

 

The inquirer, let’s call her Sam, a 27-year old, will usually continue, “And I think I remember reading that you take care of your grandmother. And from your Instagram, you attend the hottest events at least three to four times a week. And you have fabulous friends and stuff. So in my book, that’s doing it all and balancing a lot!”

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I usually smirk right about now because Sam is right, it is doing a lot! —A whole hell of a lot and if I’m honest, at times, it’s doing just a little too much. But in 2016, as progressive, driven women, we all have a lot going on in life and if necessary could probably add more. It’s just what it is. But it’s the question of “balance” or perceived balance that always captures my attention and interest.

 

And so it’s now that I drop a truth bomb that catches Sam off guard. “I don’t balance.”

 

“Huh?” she responds. “I can’t tell by the looks of it!”

 

“I don’t seek balance. Life balance is a lie as far as I’m concerned,” I say.

 

Now grimacing in disbelief at either my honesty or what she now wonders may be her own naiveté I’m not sure, Sam retorts, “Oh, really?”

 

“Yes, really.”

 

Most don’t want to hear this nevertheless believe it, but logically, even scientifically, it’s impossible to balance anything that isn’t divided into equal parts, never mind more than two, maybe four, and possibly six things.

 

I’ve been out of college for almost 16 years, and at around age 28 when my grandmother suddenly became ill, I became a caregiver, visiting her at her rehabilitation center daily. This was on top of managing two major consulting roles (one as a philanthropy consultant and the other as editor of a major women’s magazine). I had also just started my company so I was trying to drum up business, I had relationships that I cherished and wanted to maintain, and was also newly single so I was trying to date and just live. This isn’t uncommon for most 21st Century women, so in no way do I or should you see my life or myself as an anomaly. But my philosophy and approach is very different and counters what most life coach type experts and psychologists even encourage.

 

I don’t want “life balance”; I want “life harmony”. I want to be able to juggle things fairly well. I want all things to work together as best as possible but balancing say 25 things? Not so much. When I think of harmony, I think flowing, calm movement. I think fluidity. I hear beautiful sounds, some notes higher than others but all melodic. I like that. It’s not easy to do by any stretch but it takes the pressure off believing that all areas of my life (in no particular order) professional, personal, spiritual and emotional, love, and social can or should receive the same amount of attention and effort at any given time. I’ve had to train the people in my life, especially my family and team members, to understand my philosophy. I also have to remind myself at times that it’s okay not to be able to do it all, especially at once. It feels right and because it does, I sing and hum more often even with 7 or 11 balls in the air.

 

So today, on March 5, 2016 and beyond, I speak up about choosing not to balance but harmonize. And I speak up to help other women to let go of the pressure to “balance it all” especially at the same time.

 

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

 

Tai Beauchamp is a TV Host and Personality, Entrepreneur and founder of TheTaiLife.com. She empowers women through style. You can read more inspiring content at TheTaiLife.com. Follow her on @theTaiLife and @taiBeau on all social media platforms.



March 3, 2016

Guest Post from Jessica Minhas, Panelist, Speak Up In Your Community Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

“That which angers you, you’re meant to solve. That which grieves you, you’re meant to heal.”- Jessica Minhas

 

When I was growing up I thought I wanted to be a TV host. In fact, I was pretty sure of it. Many a conversation have Oprah and I had in my bathroom mirror. I just loved asking questions, and getting to the ‘heart of the matter.’ It made me feel like I was doing something good, and it made me feel like I was being heard.

 

Later when I grew up a little, well… a lot a bit, and started confronting my own childhood history of neglect, abuse and trauma (reluctantly at first, but more on that in a second), it made me realize something about those epic bathroom interviews — I still wanted to get to know people’s stories, for sure, but more than that, I wanted to help people feel seen.

 

In my twenties, I eventually found myself working as an actress/model and TV host/journalist in New York City, while on my way to find my biological family. You see, being on TV equaled being seen, and, boy, did I want my family to see me! I was raised by just my maternal grandfather. After he suddenly passed away while I was still a teenager, I set out to find my biological mother and father once and for all. I figured if I was on TV, it would up my odds of them finding me, or vice versa (classic teenage logic).

 

When a chance trip to India fell in my lap, I decided I should take it and “meet my people.” While I was there, I was exposed to the realities of the child sex trade. For the first time in my life, I not only met people who kind of looked like me (I’m half German and half Indian), but who also shared really similar stories of abuse and neglect, and who didn’t have access to education like I did.
I came back to the United States charged to change the world! (Think: Avenger-like enthusiasm.) And what I got in return were blank faces and stares. I didn’t realize it then, but I was overwhelming people with my zealous enthusiasm.

 

Simultaneously, also unbeknownst to me, all this talk about sexual violence was triggering me, and I was leaking out my trauma story like a helium balloon. I can only imagine my listener’s inner confusion at my impassioned advocating about sex trafficking victims buffered in between my own dissociative ramblings about that time I was raped, or the times I barricaded myself in my room to save myself from my grandfather’s nightly drunken rageful fits.

 

Some brave souls did try and gently nudge me into self-awareness by suggesting counseling, but, honestly, by that time, as a know-it-all 23-year-old, I had already survived all of this ‘stuff’, so the last thing I wanted to do was go backwards. Besides, I thought to myself, I was going to change the world.

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Now I understand that the first step in changing the world, is changing our own worlds. Our past, the scary, and even the dreadfully sad bits of our stories, our purpose, how we show up for our lives, and how we become ‘the change we want to see in the world’ are all inextricably linked. Sometimes the only way to truly move forward is to go back to the beginning. So, in the spirit of speaking up, being seen and being heard, here are three key takeaways I’ve learned in the process of becoming a healthier person, with a voice, who knows how to use it:

 

  • Be Curious: “That which cannot be named, cannot be healed.”- Dr. Dan Allender

 

Part of getting better is knowing what we need to get better from. Science tells us that what we suppress will be expressed… whether we like it or not, if not verbally, instead in the form of chronic health issues or mental illnesses. Case in point, I struggled with unexplainable anxiety for years. Only when I started diving deep into my history and getting really curious about who I was, where I came from and what I experienced, did I realize just how impactful my childhood trauma had been on my adult life.

 

  • Lean in: “You can only free someone else, insomuch as you have freed yourself.” -Dr. Dan Allender

 

Throughout my humanitarian work, my supervisors would always encourage us to be examining our own stories as we engage with our survivors. If we were feeling some internal resistance, that was an indicator of an opportunity to lean into our stories a bit more. That indicator may be pointing to some of our history that’s inhibiting us from ‘feeling’ pain.

 

There was something else about trauma survivors that I once heard. “Abuse survivors will scare you with how much they know about you. They can take one look at you and know you inside out.” They’ve been trained to be hyper vigilant in order to survive their situation, so in our work on their trauma, they can sense when we’re resisting something, or when parts of their stories are making us uncomfortable. Part of getting better is visiting your past and leaning into the parts that still burden us so we can free ourselves, and free others too.

 

  • Embrace: “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” -Dr. Susan Jeffers

 

Trauma can sometimes make us scared to take risks, or believe in ourselves, or feel valuable and loveable, all making intimacy and important relationships terrifying. Equally, though, building solid social support helps us ‘relearn’ or even ‘learn’ for the first time, (like in my case,) what healthy people are like; the irony being that the intimacy and vulnerability effort is sometimes the scariest part of everything.

 

Still, having been through everything I’ve been through, having heard the survivors’ stories of some of the worst atrocities history has even seen, I can tell you with 100% certainty, healing is possible. It may be really frightening to articulate what’s happened in your life, but there’s freedom down the road. Yes, the struggle is real, but so is redemption and so is hope.

 

I look forward to meeting you at the Speak Up Women Conference on March 5th at the United Nations! 

 

About the Author: Jessica Minhas is a human rights advocate, author, social entrepreneur, and media commentator who makes complex human rights issues relevant, understandable and actionable for audiences of all ages. Learn more about her work at www.jessicaminhas.com and www.illgofirst.com.



March 1, 2016

Is it time yet? This is an age-old question we have all asked at every age and stage of life. It’s like being in the backseat of a car and asking the driver, “Are we there yet?”

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Too often I am told by people, especially women, that they are not sure when the right time to speak up is.

The time to speak up, my friends, is now. NOW!

If you want to address something that is bothering you in a personal or professional relationship, it is only going to fester or possibly get worse as you wait for the “right time” to speak up about it to the right person.

 

And I mean the RIGHT person – the person you need address directly about it. It doesn’t mean talking with five other people who don’t have anything to do with the situation that is bothering you unless you are either practicing how you are going to speak up or asking for encouragement to do it. Gossiping with others about it is not going to help you. Neither is complaining about it to everyone but the person who is bothering you. Speaking directly with the person or persons involved will.

 

If you feel bad every time you are around a particular person, job site or see someone suffering, then those feelings are not going to change until you decide to speak up and tell someone how you feel.

 

Here is how you know it’s time to speak up and why that time is always now:

 

  • Nothing will change until you speak up. In fact, it may get worse.

 

  • You cannot expect the other person to read your mind or your feelings. If you do, you’ll be waiting a lifetime and then some for something to change.

 

  • Your efforts to speak up take courage. Dig down deep and stand up for yourself and your life. Speaking up is all about you taking the rare opportunity to step up to speak your mind and stand your ground about who you are, what you want, how you feel, and how you want to live your life.

 

  • Speak up for others who you see need help. There are so many people in this world who don’t know how to speak up for themselves. They need help, but they don’t know how to ask for it. Be that beacon for them. Articulate what they cannot and find ways to speak up for them so they can have better lives.

 

  • Not speaking up means you are allowing a leak in your energy to continue to drain you as you spend your time, energy and effort managing your feelings and spirit around something so negative in your world. Get rid of it! Go and address it head on so you can resolve it and solve it – for yourself and others.

 

 

Life is short. You never know what is going to happen to the ones you love, much less the ones you care about and collaborate with.

 

Now is always the right time to speak up. It is genuinely the first step to living the life you want and making sure all those in your world know what’s best for you.
Speak up for yourself and what you want, need and feel. If you don’t, who will?

 

Do it now!

 

Don’t miss the Speak Up Women Conference! Time is running out and so are our limited number of seats!

 

Haven’t purchased your ticket yet? The Speak Up Women Conference at the United Nations is on March 5th. Time is running out! 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.



March 1, 2016

Guest Post from Kathy Zucker, Panelist, Speak Up In Your Community Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

Taking risks. Speaking up. Sharing information. What do all of these things have in common? Conversation.

Every single person wants to be seen. To be heard. To have their words validated. Every one. And often? Nobody is listening.

When you are a person who listens to others, you are instantly a person of interest. That is it. You do not have to be superbly talented. The best writer. Photographer. Actor. All you have to do? Is talk to people. Well, and be genuinely interested in them.

Kathy Zucker - Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community Panel
Kathy Zucker – Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community Panel

Every time I talk to someone – and I talk to everyone – I learn something new. It is never something I expect. But just like bargain hunting in a department store, sooner or later you find a dark corner of a display that everyone has overlooked and uncover a hidden treasure.

Listening takes practice. I have made mistakes over and over again as I have learned how to take part in discussions. Own your mistakes. Apologize for errors. Learn how to avoid repeating them. And then move on. Every time I get involved in conversations on national and local levels, I learn more about myself. Another bonus? I get to see how amazing people handle themselves under pressure. These are people I admire. Respect. And that is how I identify people I want to be friends with.

Is it scary to start a conversation? Absolutely yes. I never know how someone will receive my thoughts, particularly the risky ones. Sometimes I go too far, and people let me know right away. But I would a million times rather risk going too far than playing things safe, especially if my heart is screaming at me to take a chance. Because the safe route? Is actually unsafe.

How can something safe be unsafe? Schools and authority figures teach us from a young age to follow a well-trodden path toward success. Study hard. Get good grades and test scores. Go to college. Get a job. But here is the hidden danger of the safe route. Everybody is pursuing the same thing. The safe route is obvious. It practically has neon lights flashing above it. And when something is obvious, that means a crowd is headed toward an entry door that can admit only a few.

So how can you be successful? By doing something different, or being the first. I am not the best mom. The best writer. The best anything, really. What am I? Someone who sees strategy five, ten and twenty years into the future. Everything I do showcases the choices I make that reflect my ability in strategic planning. From the place where I choose to raise my family to the companies I partner with, every choice reflects what I want to stand for long-term. Even – and especially – this book is part of my plan. What is my goal? I am not looking to get rich. The book is being published under an imprint belonging to one of my companies. My goal? Is to have something I can point to when people ask what I have been doing during the time since I left my full-time corporate job. Now every time someone asks that question? My response will be, read the book.

There are five members of my family. Each one has different skills. Goals. My children are still very young. They are unformed. Zucker_SpeakUp_Conversation-2I am beginning to see the outlines of what my older children will be as adults. I am learning who they are as people at the same time as the entire world is learning. How is this happening? Through the real time social media posts that I create every day showcasing my five family members.

Every time I post a picture and story about a member of my family, I am opening the door to opportunities. How am I doing that? By telling people what my kid is interested in, I am giving them a blueprint for what will work for that individual. When I posted a picture drawn by my oldest child, book editors reached out asking if she is interested in collaborating to illustrate future projects.

Each time I share a story that tears my heart apart, people feel connected to my family. To an individual child. To the family as a whole. And when people feel a deep connection? They search for ways to help us in small and large ways.

These connections are a two way street. When people are kind to my family, they own a tiny piece of my heart. So when they send congratulations on a milestone? I thank them for their friendship. I am extremely busy. Everyone knows this. But in the midst of scrolling down the ever-increasing volume of my timelines, posts jump out at me. Birthdays. Car accidents. Travel pictures. Whenever I see something that tugs at my heart, I like or comment on it. And each like? Is an invitation to start a conversation. Often, I see the same names pop up on instant messenger. And then? We open our hearts to each other.

I am grateful every day that I took an unconventional path. Has it been difficult? Poorly paid? Yes and yes. But while I may not have the bank balance I might have had if I had stayed in a corporate job, I have something far more valuable – a wide network of friends who have answers for all of my questions. And if you share information and start conversations? You can have the same.

 

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

 

The above excerpt is a chapter of the forthcoming book, Five: How a Family Can Create a Career, scheduled to be published in April 2016 by the Metro Media Network, a division of the Metro Moms Network, LLC ®. You can learn more at kathyzucker.com/five.


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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!


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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

 


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March 1, 2016

Guest Post from Cherie Corso, Founder of G2 Organics and Panelist, Speak Up in Business Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

Chasing the dream of life balance is exhausting. We, as women, spend more time giving to everyone else, leaving ourselves bankrupt. As the nurturers of the world, we are born with an innate gift to give; however, when we decide to give to ourselves, it is looked at as selfish. Some of us hate telling people no in fear of disappointing them at the cost of oCherie Corso - Panelist, Speak Up in Business Panelur sanity. That mentality has stopped many successful women reach their full potential in life and in business.

I am compelled to write to you to give you the confidence boost you need to come out of the shadows and speak up, demanding the life you deserve. You have a voice and hopefully these 5 steps will help you find it and ignite the inner strength you need to finally SPEAK UP!

 

Step One – Realize everyone is NOT going to like you.

The first thing I think every woman entrepreneur should understand is that your gifts and talents are not for everyone and that’s okay. As you understand your purpose, you will attract all those kindred spirits that you were sent for. Have you noticed that many entrepreneurs will name their audience?

Names like tribes, societies, newbies, armies, etc. are given to give them a sense of inclusion and letting your audience know you were sent for them and them alone. You’re either in the tribe or you’re not. The more you focus on the people that don’t like you, the less time you will be able to focus on the audience that’s waiting for someone just like you to speak directly to them.

Step Two – Believe you have a lot to offer.

You’ve probably said one hundred times, “Why would anyone want to listen to me?” Or, “that’s been done already, so why bother?”

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When I got the idea to start G2 Organics, I didn’t look at all the other product lines out there. I knew that my beliefs and ideas were worth all the money and work to get it in the hands of customers around the world.

I believed so much in my voice that I couldn’t keep silent about it. Regardless of how many people have done it before you, no one will be able to transform that idea using your feminine energy and knowledge. Every trial, failure, and victory has led you to this moment. Seize it!

Step Three – Understand the role of competition.

We are bombarded by society to be in constant competition with each other. If you’ve seen two celebrities wear the same outfit on the red carpet, the headline the next day will read, ‘Who wore it better?’ For the single ladies at weddings, they fight to the death for the bride’s bouquet. There’s no need to be defensive and even snippy with other women. Realize that we are greater in numbers and the community that you’re able to build will elevate your thinking and status in so many ways.

I challenge you to find at least two like-minded women that can give you the much needed motivation to keep going. They will feed the woman that you are and the entrepreneur that you’re striving to be. These women will hold you accountable to your goals and a little friendly competition never hurt.

 

Step Four – Prepare for success.

I love to hear people say, “She came out of nowhere!” In reality, no she didn’t. There were years of planning and preparation before anyone knew her name. It takes a lot of work to be spontaneous. If you have an important meeting scheduled, show up early and have a pre-meeting, breaking the ice with conversation. When you’re in a relaxed state, your feminine energy shines and your mind is clear to communicate your ideas effectively.

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The more you prepare that speech, presentation, or meeting, you are giving yourself room to adjust to last minute changes. You are able to simply acknowledge life’s hiccups and make the immediate adjustments. Luck is your preparation that meets the opportunities.

Step Five – Take the physical and emotional risks as an entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur your greatest successes will come out of your greatest failures. You’re going to have to take the leap out of your comfort zone to take the risks necessary to get results. Some of our favorite inventions like the microwave, chocolate chip cookies, and even the potato chip were all products of the inventor’s mistake. Having your own business is exciting and exhilarating, but never lose  your ability to throw your ideas to the walls and see what sticks.

As a wife, mother, and businesswoman, I wear many hats and sometimes I amaze myself when I get it all done. It takes work, but it’s not as hard as you think. Every no is one step closer to a yes! Will you be ready?

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



February 27, 2016

 

45068802_sEverybody loves to receive gifts and we at the Speak Up Women Conference know how to give them with our hearts and souls to help support you with your “Speak Up” skills!

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When you register by Thursday, March 3rd, at 11:59pm Eastern Time
for the Speak Up Women Conference, you qualify to win one of the following giveaways from our impactful elite speakers and amazing Speak Up Women team:

 


 

Cherie Corso - Panelist, Speak Up in Business Panel Cherie Corso is gifting and giving away a gift basket filled with GHEADER-32 Organics products to one lucky registrant! Thank You, Cherie!

 

 

 


 

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Jessica Abo is gifting and giving away a 1-hour coaching session to help one lucky registrant turn her passion into action! Thank You, Jessica! images

 

 


 

 

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Experienced venture capital investor, Jeanne M. Sullivan, will meet for a half-day session to support your business vision.  “Let’s talk about packaging, connections and how to get funded or brainstorm ideas to scale your business.” Thank You, Jeanne!

 

 


 

 

 

Kathy Zucker - Panelist, Speak Up in Your Community PanelKathy Zucker is gifting and giving away a 1-hour consultation with one lucky registrant! Thank you, Kathy!

 

 


 

 

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Bonnie Bruderer, our esteemed Emcee & Mistress of Ceremonies, is gifting and giving away 1 hour of media training. Thank you, Bonnie!

 

 

 

logo-4Bonnie is also gifting and giving away a “Tweebot” which is a robot and a chance to win $10,000 with it! See #tweebaa and @tweebaa on Twitter. Thank You, Bonnie!


 

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Laura Fredricks is gifting and giving awTheAskay ½ hour of her valuable time to one lucky registrant plus the winner will receive a signed copy of her book. Thank You, Laura!

 

 


 

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Karen Taylor Bass is gifting and giving away one complimentary 45-minute PR Coaching session to one lucky registrant. Thank You, Karen!

 


 

Stephanie ParkerStephanie Parker is gifting and giving away one hour of her valuable time as a business consult to one luckunnamed-3y registrant. Thank You, Stephanie!

 

 

 

 

 


 

Joan Pelzer - Moderator, Speaking Up in Business Panel

Joan Pelzer of Joan Pelzer Media, our amazing social media strategist for the Speak Up Women Conference, is gifting and giving away a 1-hour Social Media Roadmap Session to one lucky registrant in which Joan Pelzer Media will evaluatelogo-5 current social media and help craft a strategic plan for moving ahead to create relationships online rather than just connections! Thank You, Joan!

 


 

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Jennefer Witter of The Boreland Groupour fabulous publicist for the Speak Up Women Conference, is gifting and giving away a one-ho5ur PR tele coaching session to one lucky registrant plus a signed copy of her book. Thank
You, Jennefer!

 

 


 

Jennifer S Wilkov - Speaker - Author - Consultant

Our Founder, Jennifer S. Wilkov, is gifting and giving away a one-hour Reset Your Mindset session to one lucky registrant plus a signed copy of her book, Boys Before Business: The Single Girl’s Guide to Having It All

 

 

 

YBIYH_LogoJennifer is also gifting and giving away a one-hour JumpStart Your Book Session to one lucky registrant in which she will provide guidance and direction for the winner’s book or script idea, concept, draft, published or produced work.  Thank You, Jennifer!

 


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Judy Goss is gifting and giving away a 30-minute media training and a complimentary online Over 40 Females logomembership to
Over 40 Females to one lucky registrant. Thank You, Judy!

 

 

 


 

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Michelle Tillis Lederman is gifting and giving away one coaching call for one lucky registrant. Thank You, Michelle!

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Jessica Minhas is gifting and giving away a 1-hour consultation on how to use your story for good or media/speaking coaching for one lucky registrant. Thank You, Jessica!

 

 

 

 


 

 

Victoria MoranVictoria Moran, one of our esteemed Keynote Speakers, is gifting and giving away a Vegan Lifestyle Coaching Session via phone or Skype to one lucky registrant. Thank You, Victoria!

 

 

 

 


 

 

HLc5o6rUAlyssa Peek of Peek Photography, one of our fabulous photographers for the Speak Up Women Conference, is gifting and giving away one photo shoot session valued at $850 to one lucky registrant. Thank You, Alimages-2yssa!

 

 

 

 


 


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February 25, 2016

Guest Post from Bonnie Bruderer, Emcee and Mistress of Ceremonies at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

It’s funny, I never used to get what I want. I was always the person that would “go the extra mile”, help others, do more than expected. You would think this is a great way to get ahead in life, but the truth is, it is not. I never seemed to win or create the type of success I was looking for.

You see, not everyone is a good person. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of good people and unfortunately tons of bad, too. I often found that I was giving more that was right to some of the bad sometimes, and this cost me from being able to create what I want in my life. In fact, through much of my career, I had to work in situations where I had to work with some people that fell in the “bad” bucket.

I will admit it, full transparency, that I have gone down wrong rabbit holes with wrong people. You know, those kinds of decisions you make in life where you have that nagging feeling, from the second you made the decision, that is was not right. Then, you allow it to keep gnawing at you, as your head for some reason nods “yes”, and you keep getting deeper and deeper. That feeling when you are asked to do yet another thing and your eyes fill up with tears and you can just taste it in your mouth. I know this is not just me, right? It is amazing how many times, from the age of babysitting days, where the parents would call and say they were going to be a few hours late, when you had a swim meet at 6 the next morning, to CEOs who expect you to drop everything and work through the night and weekends on their dreams.

Well, then I learned something. I think it was more of an “I’m gonna snap” than a learning, but I got myself into a situation where there was nothing else to do but SPEAK UP! Then, a funny thing happened. It worked! I got results. People started respecting the boundaries I would set and not taking advantage.

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Bonnie Bruderer, Executive Producer, theASKBONBON Show

 

Then it was like fuel. I started to speak up in all areas of my life, and you know what? Everyone started reacting differently. I had boyfriends apologizing, people changing patterns of always being late, not working with certain clients, because they did not align with my vision.

Speaking up became a verb and now it is used daily, for everything. Business meetings, scheduling, even my dog, when she wants to go play and I am working. I say what I mean and always back it up by meaning what I say.

I was not able to create a successful company and brand until this happened, and now I have built a team and a network where this is the “norm”. It is not unusual for meetings to be filled with people voicing their “speaking up” and we get more done and everyone is happy.

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