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January 16, 2017 0

 

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

When I was a kid, I was raised singing the song “This Land Is Your Land”, which was written by Woody Guthrie a couple of decades before I was born. By the time I learned it and sang along, there were multiple versions and covers made of it from popular singers like Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger (whom I loved listening to), and even Bob Dylan and later on Bruce Springsteen.

As the song lyrics say, this land is your land, this land is my land.

Well, I say to you that if this land really IS your land and if this land really IS my land, then we are all going to need to speak up about what that really means to each of us and what we want our land to be like and how we want it to be treated.

Recently, amidst the climate of conversations in the United States, there have been many a subject matter that each of us perhaps has something about it that we want to say. Whether it is about the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential election to the standoff at Standing Rock or our economy or even the football teams heading to the Super Bowl in a few weeks, it seems like the roar of voices expressing their opinions and feelings is growing louder.

To me, this is a good thing!

Speaking up leads to dialogues about issues we feel are near and dear to us in our personal, professional and philanthropic lives. Some issues are directly related to us individually; others affect others and we care enough about them to stand up and speak up to express our dissatisfaction or concerns related to them.

Just like in the days of the , we are finding ourselves as a community rising up with our varying voices to express what we want and what we want for those around us, including our children, business colleagues, friends and neighbors.

Without this effort to speak up, the lives we want to live would not be possible because we would be relying on others to cast the die for us, leaving us to live in the wake of what they decided was best for us.

Only you can tell someone what is best for you and how you feel. Only you can inform people and let them know what is important to you. If you don’t, how will they know? After all, they can’t read your mind. If you don’t express yourself, your voice cannot be heard and the life you want cannot manifest the way you want it to.

When I sang “this land is your land, this land is my land” as a little girl, it was a great song. I knew all the words and smiled a big smile when I sang it. I loved its lyrics about the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream waters and endless skyway above me and the golden valley below me. I felt like it was about my country and where I lived – and I felt good about it.

These days, the words to the song are the same, but the title of the song means something more to me. It is my land and it is your land. It is a land where we are fortunate to be allowed to speak up and tell the people in our lives what we want and what lives we want to live. We are fortunate and blessed to live in such a land.

It will take all of us speaking up to help guide us forward and create the land we want going forward.

I invite you today and everyday to speak up for the life you want and make this land YOUR LAND.

Speak Up!

 


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January 4, 2017 0

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

Your voice is one of your biggest assets. It informs others. It expresses desire, hope, fear, happiness, sadness and other emotions. More importantly, it tells people who you are and what you want.

When an individual speaks up, things change. This is universal. This is how change happens. When we open up our great big beautiful mouths and start speaking to others, change occurs for us and for all those whose lives we touch – whether it’s your daughter, neighbor, business colleague, friend, intimate partner or even a stranger you meet for a moment and then may never see again.

It’s time for women everywhere to speak up — whether it’s in the corporate world, the non-profit sector, as a small business owner or brand new entrepreneur with a great idea, or as a mom who wants to break back in to the adult world to do something great.

Teenagers are discovering the world around them and who they are. They fear speaking up in an environment where they are often not in a position of authority. What would change if they spoke up about what they saw and what they wanted? What could change if this dialogue occurred? What could they create in the world to make it a better place locally and globally?

Isn’t it your time as a teenager to speak up?!

20-year-olds are finding themselves and understanding who they are in the larger global world outside their homes and college experiences. They are establishing themselves in the corporate and non-profit worlds or opening up businesses where they see others not being served in the way they think they should. They seek out opportunities where they can feel fulfilled and create an identity they can be proud of.

Isn’t it your time as a 20-something to speak up?! What would change for you and all those you see around you if you did?

What’s holding you back?

30-year-olds are often finding themselves in relationships of all kinds – personal, romantic, parental, professional – where they may or may not speak up about what’s important to them, what fulfills them and how they want to live their lives. Imagine if they spoke up about what’s important to them and sought out and ask for help in the areas where they felt they could contribute and make life better for themselves and everyone on the planet.

When will it be your time to speak up in your 30s?!

40-year-olds experience change physically and perhaps in other areas of their lives. What was important to them in their 30s may change and their focus in life may change too. Who’s going to know what’s changed for you if you don’t tell anyone? When will you use that great big beautiful voice of yours and inform others of who you are today, what you want to do, what career you really want, and what life you really want to live?

When will it be just the right time to speak up in your 40s?!

50-year-olds have seen a lot and still have a ton of spark and spirit in them to run after what they want and create the life they said they’ve wanted for years. They’ve seen more than a half century of society, professional industries, politics and personal experiences.

Now is it time to speak up – in your 50s?!

60-year-olds are certainly not “retiring” but instead reinvigorating their lives and dreams. They are far from stopping but often don’t want to feel like they’re imposing on others for their place in the world as a new senior citizen. They are vibrant and often wondering if they could still create that cool entrepreneurial idea they once had when they were younger.

When will it be time to speak up – in your 60s?!

70-year-olds continue to be actively engaged in the lives they have and often wonder what’s next for them. Can you actually start something new in your 70s and beyond?

YES! If you are willing to speak up, any age is a great time to start something new, create new relationships, find new opportunities that serve your soul and others, locally and globally, and make change happen.

Big or small, speaking up makes a difference for everyone – especially you!

No matter how old or young you are, it’s always the right time to speak up.
If you don’t, how will things change? How will you contribute to the change that inevitably happens around you? How many lives can you make just a little bit better by speaking up?

ISN’T IT YOUR TIME TO SPEAK UP?!

 

Join us for the next Speak Up Women Conference which will be held at the United Nations on Friday, March 3rd, 2017. Save the Date! Don’t miss out on this elite experience to learn how to create change where change is necessary in your life and why using your words and speaking up is the key to everything you want.


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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!


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February 22, 2016

What’s different about the Speak Up Women Conference?

We all want to go to events for different reasons. Some want to go to meet others. Some want to go because of the topic or to hear the speaker being featured. Others want to go because there is a chance to network in a great location or over great food or wine.

Here are the top 5 experiences you don’t want to miss at the Speak Up Women Conference at the UN on March 5th:

 

1) The Caliber of Women You’ll Get to Connect With

The women who attend the Speak Up Women Conference are  individuals who are committed to making a difference in the world by using their voices to build better businesses, communities and lives. They invest their greatest assets – their time, money, energy and efforts – to be around others who are doing all they can to create a better, bolder world for others…and themselves. They know great things happen at events at the United Nations, a different caliber location for such an auspicious opportunity.

They also know that it’s worth it to invest their time here among like-minded women who are truly moving and shaking the world.

If these are the people you have been looking to be in the same room with, then make sure you are in the room at the Speak Up Women Conference.

 

2) The Featured Topics of Discussion at a Single Event

In just one day at this one event, the Speak Up Women Conference, you will find yourself in conversations with other motivated, courageous, and inspiring women about speaking up in business, for money you need to grow your business and dreams, in your home, in your personal relationships with family and friends, and in your community – not to mention the keynote conversations about the impact speaking up can have when you are courageous enough to do it.

In order to cover all of the topics we will be discussing at the Speak Up Women Conference, you would have to pay for and attend at least 5 different conferences, including 5 different locations and associated travel and accommodations as well as time away from your family, friends and weekend commitments, not to mention childcare considerations and more.

 

3) Don’t Just Get a Book; Meet the Author and Get It Signed

At the Speak Up Women Conference, you won’t just buy a book. You can do that at home. You will have the unique pleasure and chance to meet and talk with the author as she signs your book.

Whether it is Victoria Moran, Laura Day, Judy Goss, Laura Fredricks, Michelle Tillis Lederman, Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, or any of our other powerful speakers, this is your opportunity to meet them in person, have your book personally signed, and take home not just a book, but the experience of meeting each one of them.

 

4) Time to Meet Fellow Attendees

The Speak Up Women Conference doesn’t only give you time to meet the phenomenal speakers appearing at the event, it also provides you with time during breakfast, lunch and the after-party to connect with fellow attendees. You never know who you are going to meet at an event like this.

With the type of women attending, you may just meet the one person who could be that game changer for you and your endeavors, business and interests.

5) Special Guest Appearance by Jillian Manus – At the Speak Up Women Conference, you won’t just eat lunch. Jillian Manus will be joining us to share her remarks about speaking up, why it is important and how it does make an impact.

Why should this make a difference for you? Not sure who Jillian Manus is or why you would want to listen to her?

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Jillian Manus is a presently a Managing Partner of Structure VC, a Silicon Valley early-stage venture capital firm providing capital and brand strategy to tech companies focused on creating value in under utilized assets and excess capacity. Structure is the Architects of the Zero Waste Economy. Prior to SC, Jillian has had a multifaceted career as co-director of M & A for Credit Suisse in Zurich, Director of Development for Universal and Warner Bros Studios, TV agent for ICM, Associate Publisher of Upside Magazine. She is the founder of 3 companies, Global Goal Sports Management, Manus Media & Literary Agency and Broad Strategy, a brand acceleration and investment company.

She attended Oxford University and NYU where she served on the board of Trustees. Ms. Manus is a highly regarded public speaker, providing political and business commentary in both print and television, including Bloomberg News, Hardball and Fox News.

Jillian sits on numerous corporate and philanthropic boards including Box.org, Center for Investigative Reporting, Duke Engage National, Hyp3r, Iggbo, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Communities in Schools and College Track. She served seven years as Chair of The Woman’s Conference where she joined Maria Shriver to create the largest women’s conference in the world; 15,700 women STRONG.

As an active philanthropist, she created the Manus Family Foundation whose mission is “to create paths of safety and self-sufficiency for women and children.” The two primary levers of investment for her are education and health. Jillian was recently selected by the San Francisco Business Times as a 2016 honoree for the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.

 

Jillian speaks up and has spoken up in all the areas of her life that we will be discussing during the Speak Up Women Conference. This is your opportunity to not just be in the room with her, but to hear what she has to say about why speaking up has made huge difference for her in her life – in business, in her community, and for herself.

 

So 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.


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February 22, 2016

Guest Post from Judy Goss, Moderator, How to Speak Up & What’s Holding You Back Panel at the Speak Up Women Conference

 

Before you SPEAK UP, make sure you know WHY it is you want to talk about it.

I’m writing this with the assumption that you want to market yourself to the world, increase your visibility and make a living from what you love, right?

Yes, of course – we all want to do that on varying levels, whether you have your own business, are a part-time freelancer or are simply trying to get ahead in your career as an expert. The problem is, we need to have a rock-solid grasp of WHO and WHAT we are and WHY we are doing what we do before we start growing.

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I have heard countless times that today’s marketing is all about “authenticity.” Being authentic can be tough, especially when combining it in the professional world. I stopped myself countless times from admitting I had been through bankruptcy because I wanted to be known as an “astute businesswoman.” Little did I know that telling the truth about my story would inspire and motivate others, which was really what my companies were all about! So it came full circle and helped me in the end, when I could have saved time and wrapped my “real self” into my marketing in the first place. Real stories sell – Trump admitted his bankruptcies, why couldn’t I?

At the heart of it, speaking about yourself (and/or your business!) requires maintaining a consistent message to your audience that you are who you are, you know what you are selling, and within that message is why you are selling/offering what you do.

A good way to find where to begin is to write down the top three reasons of what your intentions are with your business or career in the first place, and tape it on the wall where you will see it every day. Here are mine when I started Over 40 Females:

  • To make the women over 40 demographic more relevant and thus create more opportunities for women.
  • To give women over 40 a platform to be heard and celebrated while connecting them with each other forming a close-knit community.
  • To take that exclusive community for women over 40 and provide resources to draw from ranging from business building to spiritual guidance to media exposure.

A great way to be consistent with your story is to come up with a tagline for your company. Or, if you are a sales rep or don’t have your own business, you can still have a quote that follows you around and represents your personal story in just a few words – put it on your email signature, post it on Facebook, show it everywhere you market yourself. The most important part is to be consistent. Over 40 Females is “Your Network. Your World. Your Community.” Our motto is “Connect, Encourage and Inspire” but I didn’t feel like that that was enough – it doesn’t really describe what we are, so we came up with a tagline that as soon as you see our company name, you will have an idea of who we are and what we do.

The why? It should be in your messaging. One of my favorite videos is one Simon Sintek did, it’s about 20 minutes and it changes my life every time I see it:

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{Click the image to view Simon’s TED Talk}

 

Here is an example of “Who” and “What” Over 40 Females is:

A live and online networking community for women over the age of 40 to give women a platform to be heard, a place to network personally and professionally, a hub for educational resources and an impassioned community for women over the age of 40 with the motto “Connect, Encourage and Inspire.”

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“Why” would you join us?

We help women over 40 who are in transition, going through a re-invention or re-building their lives professionally or personally. The ways we do this is by connecting them with other like-minded women, providing them constant resources through our experts with teleseminars, educational videos and more, offering them unique ways to promote their businesses or careers and giving them a place to come where everyone feels like extended family – a place where women over 40 finally belong.

What is YOUR why?

 

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