For the Ambitious, Tech-Savvy, Female Entrepreneur
power culture May/June 2012
Real Estate Mogul opens up about her humble beginnings
Founder and Editorial Director Kristi L. Jackson Co-Editor Deana Marshall Research Editor Ronkita Brown Creative Director Tristan Baliuag Contributing Writers
Article Writeup www.articlewriteup.com
Kristi L. Jackson
Women CEO Project www.womenceoproject.com
Scrappy Face www.scrappyface.com Published by
Women CEO Project LLC
Email: email@example.com Web: www.powerculturemag.com 340 S Lemon Ave #1908 Walnut, CA 91789
Are you a woman on the move? Do you want to share your business story to inspire Power Culture readers? We love submissions that not only empower our readers, but also teach them, give valuable information, and action steps. Goals. Strategy. Action. This is the Power Culture Woman. ÂŠ 2012 Women CEO Project Companies LLC All artwork, design and content are the property of Women CEO Project Companies LLC and must not be duplicated or copied without written permission. Submit queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Power Culture May/June 2012
The Business Woman ManifestoYOU ARE MEANT TO BE HERE.
YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE CAPABLE. YOU ARE AN UBER MULTI-TASKER. YOU DETERMINE YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS. YOUR SIZE MAKES YOU NiMBLE. YOUR OBSTACLES MADE YOU WISER. YOUR FAILURES MADE YOU ADAPTABLE. YOUR STRENGTH IS YOUR STORY. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MISTAKES BECAUSE YOUR PAST IS SMOKE AND SUCCESS IS YOUR FUTURE. INTUITION IS A SKILL AND A GIFT FROM GOD. WE BECOME STRONGER WHEN WE LINK TOGETHER. YOU KNOW YOUR WORTH, AND DON’T NEED ANYONE TO COMPUTE IT FOR YOU.THE NO’S YOU GOT YESTERDAY ARE THE DOORS YOU WALK THROUGH TODAY. YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH. YOU ARE POWERFUL. YOU SPEAK POWER WORDS. YOU TAKE POWER ACTIONS. YOU’RE SCRAPPY, HAVE MASSIVE HUSTLE AND YOU’RE ONLY COMING HOME WITH A FUTURE IN YOUR POCKET. Power Culture May/June 2012 3
Women of Power Features
70 Start a Business the Scrappy Way Donâ€™t think you have what it takes to start a business? Get scrappy and get it done!
74 The Birth of Rock Star
Glitter and gold, sweat and tears is what this business woman is made of.
84 The Art of the Start
Only the dedicated need apply. Want to be an entrepreneur? Prepare to develop scar tissue....
90 A Dream Deferred
Try, try again. Fail. Fail again. Fail better.
4 Power Culture May/June 2012
power culture May/June 2012
64 Smart, Savvy, Successful, Shark So youâ€™ve seen her dole out advice and negotiate on the popular show Shark Tank, but do you really know what it took to create the confident, strong and wise Barbara Corcoran? This month we were enlightened, consulted and amazed to make the acquaintance and share with you, the shark....
80 Sage Advice from the Chief in Charge Want to know what it really takes to succeed? Ask the boss who personally hears and reads the pitches of thousands of entrepreneurs a year and is the Editor of one of TOP business resources in the world.
Cover Credits Barbara Corcoran on the set of Shark Tank Power Culture May/June 2012 5
contents Business Woman Manifesto
03 Our Culture
Everything you need is already inside of you. Read, repeat. Read, until you believe...
The Jackson Review
12 Facts, Stats, State of the Business Woman The Jackson Review is a comprehensive bi-yearly statistical report based on stated sources and facts about the status of women in business.
16 TOP 10 Startup Resources
Starting or growing your biz in 2012? Letâ€™s save you some time with these awesome resources.
58 7 Things Your Must Stop Doing NOW!
Sabotaging yourself? Find out how to stop NOW!
96 Tweets of Advice
Starting up? American Express Open Forum followers give Power Culture readers tips, tools, and advice to get your business going.
6 Power Culture May/June 2012
power culture May/June 2012
104 Quote Me
Need to be lifted? These are some of Power Culture readers’ favorite and most inspiring quotes.
20 The Goods...
Check out the tech tools we are obsessing about this month.
22 Work IT!
Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific shows Power Culture readers how to work it professionally AND with style.
Need advice? Here are some of the best reads that are a staple in the entrepreneur’s business library.
Showing Some Love
102 Showing Love
Because they loved us first, by creating businesses specifically to help.
Kristi J ackson CEO Fo under www.po wercultu re
108 Power Corner ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
Power Tips. Power Tools. Power Action. Power Culture May/June 2012 7
opinionated We are so honored to live in our dream and create another avenue for women to learn, to speak, and to grow. Creating our first issue of Power Culture Magazine brought so many lessons, opinions and feedbacks. Here’s what our readers had to say about Issue 1 of PC... Goldie Erowele of Carenovate “Congrats Kristi Jackson with this NEW magazine. Love it, great articles, motivational, truly inspiring.” Heather Rene’ Wilson of Inner Enthusiasm Consulting “Great job! I can’t wait to share it!” Renee Winston of Eat Healthy Houston “Visually - absolutely beautiful. Will sit still tonight with a warm cup of tea and absorb myself into your magazine. Congratulations Kristi Jackson on Power Culture Magazine.”
I know it took tremendous time and dedication. Continue your purpose!”
“LOVE THIS MAGAZINE. I need to keep our readers updated that we aren’t just making our gamechangers up. You ladies really are the living definition of the word as to why you were chosen. Our gamechangers really live the meaning of the word- they change the game.”
Elianne Ramos of Speak Hispanic “Beautiful design, inspirational and insightful content!” Errica Dodson of Sisterly Connections “LOVE IT!”
Ashley D Harris of Trinity Tax Solutions “You have really outdone yourself. This is amazing and very inspirational to me for when I get ready to create a financial education/literacy Vernetta Freeney magazine. Love what of Women are Gamechangers you are doing for women entrepreneurs. Women Allyson Byrd CEO founder Kristi of the Purpose Within Jackson and Power Culture Magazine rocks. “I really REALLY like this... it’s easy to God has truly blessed you to pursue your read, informative and a wonderfully fresh passion and purpose.” approach. Congratulations on the launch.
Want to give us your opinion? Send your letters to email@example.com. We would LOVE to hear from you! 8 Power Culture May/June 2012
Call for Speakers, Applications Open. Click here to apply.
Present, Promote and Sell Yourself as an Expert Webinar
Power Culture Magazine is looking for Kick Azz Writers! We are interested in meeting awesome, opinionated, writers with advice, tips, tools, words that encourage, empower, and catapult our women entrepreneurs. Want to write for one of the fastest growing Womenâ€™s Business Magazines?
You have from May 1- 15th to send your portfolio or writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Apple for Business
Google + for
30Wed. Circle Open
Business Credit and Financing Webinar
Women of POWER Virtual Summit Begins
Click HERE to register
Watch Out: Global Mastermind Circle in July. power culture
www.powerculturemag.com Power Culture May/June 2012 9
onored is an understatement in how I felt about this issues’ line up of awesome women entrepreneurs. Each one of them is a true inspiration. Nonetheless, I feel the need to share the special connections I have with two of the featured interviews – Barbara Corcoran and Amy Cosper. How I felt to interview Corcoran and Cosper was nothing short of magical. I have studied, followed, been quietly mentored, and inspired by both of these powerful ladies over the years.
Amy Cosper At the impressionable age of 19, while strolling through Barnes and Noble for the newest E. Lynn Harris novel, I came upon Entrepreneur Magazine, August 2000. I read it cover to cover while still in the store. It was that issue that embarked me on my entrepreneurial journey. It was profound to me, that I, with my own hands and intelligence, could build a business that would provide for me. That coveted title of “who’s the owner” could be me. The moment I realized I could actually become an entrepreneur sparked the beginning of a busy year. The year included me temporarily quitting nursing school (hey- entrepreneurs don’t need a degree) and then re-entering and changing my major upon a thorough convincing by my sister. I feverishly began to take as many business classes as I could 24/7. No day or time was off limits. The study of business now consumed all of my time and disposable 10 Power Culture May/June 2012
income. Entrepreneur Magazine was the launching pad to my entry into the world of business ownership. Ever since that trip to Barnes & Noble, I have remained a loyal fan and have never looked back. So you understand, it was an amazing honor to meet and speak with the busy Amy Cosper and finding out “how she did it”. And just for kicks, I’ve included a photo of my brown and tattered first copy of Entrepreneur Magazine August 2000. It goes everywhere with me, and to me, is worth a million times more than its weight in inspiration.
most transparent, genuine information on her beginnings - her fight to her success. She shared with me that she had made it from a lot of hard work, determination, tenacity, and a “hit me again” mentality. She owned her success by stating she fully deserved to be living in her success. That to me was one of the most admirable things I had heard. Too often women shy from owning their success and they shouldn’t. She rightfully deserves all of her success! In the closing of my interview with her, she told me, “Kristi, you deserve to be there too, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t”. I kept Barbara Corcoran my composure, and did In 2009, 5 years after my best to hold back becoming a realtor, I my tears until we hung decided it was time to up- I succeeded. Mrs. become a broker. My Corcoran had taken a inspiration came from few precious minutes out the desire to control my of her busy day for what business and through was probably a simple studying the renowned interview to an aggressive Corcoran. I thought, how new magazine publisher, August 2000, my first issue did this woman really do but what she did not of Entrepreneur Magazine this? How did she build know, is that I had been such a large, successful wanting to meet her for real estate company in the concrete over 10 years and felt so enormously jungle? How did she do it by herself? grateful to bend her ear for myself, Would I ever be able to do something for my magazine, and to inspire our like that? I moved forward, delving readers. She also didn’t know that what deeper into a real estate career never she told me, fit so perfectly into that knowing I would actually cross paths day, I needed to hear it, and so do you. with my inspiration. Ladies, you deserve to be here, and I held my composure as I don’t you forget it. PC interviewed Mrs. Corcoran. She’s a person I only imagined I’d speak to one -Kristi L. Jackson day, and then she opened my world and Founder now our world, to some of the simplest, Power Culture May/June 2012 11
the jackson review
omen have always been an integral part of economic and social development. In todayâ€™s economic context, active presence of women in the workplace and active involvement as a Business Owner has fostered various employment and economic opportunities for societies all around the globe. Within US, there are exciting things happening inside the world of women entrepreneurs. Women are now the dominant force in small business ownership, and succeeding in industries that were once taboo for women. While there are several women who have launched their own start-ups and received capital and other pertinent resources, research suggests that the challenges and obstacles faced by Women Entrepreneurs in terms of access to, and use of, capital and other resources still hinder them to compete aggressively with their male counterparts. The report identifies key challenges as well key opportunities for women pursuing their business interest in various industries.
12 Power Culture May/June 2012
Top Business Choices for Women
Top Sectors Women Hold in Business
Etsy and eBay Entrepreneurs Telephone Answering Service Start a First-Aid Kit Supply Business Crafts and Hobbies Nursing or Other Care Work Management Consulting Social Work Life Coaching Affiliate Marketing
47% Educational Services 52% Healthcare
Most Common Obstacles for women wanting to start a business Finding capital Having the connections needed to make their idea happen Gender Discrimination and Stereotyping Dual Career-Family Pressures Lack of Equal Opportunities in Certain Industries Taking things too personally Trying to do it all Not Having a Plan Lack of Business Articulation Under Pricing Services Hiding Cash Flow Issues Getting too close with employees
Sources http://womeninbusiness.about.com/od/challengeswomenface/a/womenchallenges.htm http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2011/10/19/obstacles-women-in-business-face-andconquer/ http://thenextwomen.com/2010/10/10/female-entrepreneurs-and-the-5-biggest-obstaclesin-business-start-ups-to-overcome http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2011/10/17/obstacles-faced-bywomen-entrepreneurs-and-how-to-get-over-them/
Power Culture May/June 2012 13
the jackson review Top 10 States: Number of Women-Owned Businesses 2011
3|622,300 New York 7|282,600 Pennsylvania 8|256,400 Ohio 9|242,900 Michigan 5|357,300 Illinois
2|636,000 Texas 1|1,080,000 California
6|287,500 Georgia 4|585,500 Florida 10|236,100 N. Carolina
Current number of WomenOwned Businesses
How much money to these businesses produce
How many people do these women-owned businesses employ 14 Power Culture May/June 2012
The majority of womenowned businesses are made up of the owner plus a helper or two
Sources http://247wallst.com/2011/04/11/the-ten-industries-that-pay-women-theleast/2/ http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/04/11/the-10-industries-that-pay-womenthe-least/
the jackson review Lowest Sectors Women Hold in Business (Lowest to Highest) Finance and Insurance 20% Construction 8% Health Care and Social Service Assistance Non Durable Goods Durable Goods Utilities Information Public Administration Wholesale Trade
1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0
1 California 2 Texas 3 New York 4 Florida
5 Illinois 6 Georgia 7 Pennsylvania 8 Ohio
Women hold 11.1% of board seats in the Fortune 500.
86% of Fortune 500 companies (429 companies) have at least one or more women director; 14% (71
9 Michigan 10 N. Carolina
Of Fortune 100 companies, 97%
have at least 1 woman on their boards.
companies) have no woman on their boards.
188 companies in the Fortune 500 have 2 or more women directors; 34 companies have three or more women directors.
drawn from top management of the company) on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. Out of 1,173, 13 women are inside directors.
1.1% of inside directors (those
Sources : http://riaapro.org/documents/ GLASS%20CEILING%20STATISTICS.pdf
Number of WomenOwner Firms
Power Culture May/June 2012 15
our pick top
Startup Resources Starting or expanding your biz in 2012? The internet offers the entrepreneur many options to grow, organize, plan their business, connect globally and do most of it for FREE. Check out Power Cultureâ€™s TOP 10 Startup Resources. 16 Power Culture May/June 2012
Evernote Evernote gives you bookmarking, brainstorming, project creation, idea management, all of your ideas, all in the cloud, across all of your devices, anytime you need it.
Google Apps Almost every tool you need to start your business is here: Word Processing, Email, Calendar, Creating Docs, Google Apps for Business. www.google.com/apps
MAILCHIMP No matter what you’ve heard, email marketing is still one of the BEST ways to stay at the forefront of your customer’s mind and gain your business leads. Mailchimp has a plan that is absolutely free, easy to use and integrates social media and other online services.
Business Plan Pro Don’t even think about embarking on a new business without planning. Business Plan Pro is voted the #1 software to guide you through the planning process easily and with many examples to learn from. www.businessplanpro.com
Marketingprofs Marketingprofs is one of the BEST, most comprehensive website to learn “all things” marketing, participate in free interactive webinars, and even join their informative forums.
Power Culture May/June 2012 17
Square Need to take payments on the go? Thereâ€™s no getting around it, Square is one of the easiest, while also the most professional tools that can be plugged into your iphone, android, or tablet. www.squareup.com
Skype Skype is an awesome, free tool to make calls, have meetings, connect and consult with anyone in the world. Try it. Take your business global! www.skype.com
HelloFax Who uses an actual fax machine anymore? HelloFax allows you to send paperless faxes via your computer-saves time AND money. www.hellofax.com
The Kauffman Foundation The Kauffman Foundation is a well-ran think tank, rich with valuable resources, reports, case studies, white papers and partners that can thoroughly educate and catapult a new or existing entrepreneur. www.kauffman.org
American Express Open Forum (www.openforum.com), Entrepreneur (www.entrepreneur. com), and Inc. (www.inc.com) are TOP websites for all things business, with new content refreshed daily and informative articles, videos, toolkits and interviews from entrepreneurs whoâ€™ve done it!
18 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 19
1 The “New” Ipad. There’s no getting around
it- this is one of the best, most beautiful and useful tools for presentations, meetings. It’s also great to make on the spot sales and showcase a portfolio. Also great for catching up on emails, taking photos, videos and even entertaining yourself in-between meetings. www.apple.com (Starting at $499)
2 20 Power Culture May/June 2012
Audio-Technica ATR2500 Microphone.
Where have you been? Webinars are THE thing to brand yourself, gain leads, great tool to make money, and solidify yourself as an expert. This microphone makes sure you sound clear AND professional. www.audio-technica.com ($100)
MophiE.I donâ€™t even want
this - I NEED it! Fully charge your iphone twice or charge an ipad once. With the Mophie, you can charge almost any device that has a USB port. www.mophie.com ($79.95)
Doxie. Who wants to
carry tons of paper? Keep your business running paperless with a wifi enabled scanner for on the go contracts, storage and copying. Freakin indispensable tool! www.getdoxie.com ($249)
HD Media Router 2000.
Conducting video meetings, hosting webinars, and streaming content canâ€™t be done well or professionally if your internet is running slow. Speed it up with this new router and keep working at lightning speed! www.dlink.com (169.99)
Power Culture May/June 2012 21
22 Power Culture May/June 2012
Who says you canâ€™t be stylish and professional at the same time? Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific is a business woman, blogger, and definitely a fashion icon. Check out 25 of her business looks to admire AND inspire you to put together your own professional look.
Power Culture May/June 2012 23
Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 25
26 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 27
28 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 29
30 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 31
32 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 33
34 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 35
36 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 37
38 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 39
40 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 41
42 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 43
44 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 45
46 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 47
48 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 49
50 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 51
52 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 53
54 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 55
56 Power Culture May/June 2012
Power Culture May/June 2012 57
Things You Must Stop Doing NOW!
Do this, STOP that... Are you sabotaging your success? Get out of your own way and stop doing these 7 things that kill your opportunities.
58 Power Culture May/June 2012
Not charging your worth. Yep, this is number one, because it seems to be women’s number one problem. Are you giving away your goodies for free or damnere free? Are you leaving lunch meetings wanting to kick your own butt, knowing that you just gave away a free consultation for a salad? Do not let your business suffer and allow customers and clients to get your hard work without paying a fair price. You have spent years honing your skills and talents. You have an expertise, and people are willing to pay for it. Stop being nice. Stop giving it away. If it’s good enough to trade for, it’s good enough to pay for. State your price, then stop talking, and be prepared to walk away. Charge your worth. NOW!
they can fit neatly into their credit purchased purse. Screw that. What’s the biggest, most inconceivable, inconvenient dream that you have for your life? Yep, that one. Once you’ve figured that out, be bold enough to write it down, tell someone, make a list of not the obstacles, but how you CAN get it done. Then let’s make it happen. Dream big ladies. Remember, if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re definitely not big enough.
It kills me when women’s dreams are so small, and convenient they can fit neatly into their credit purchased purse.
Not Dreaming BIG. Just trying to make it through the month, to payroll, even to the end of the year? Then what’s next? Start with the million dollar goal then work your way backwards. It kills me when women’s dreams are so small, and convenient
Not using technology to leverage yourself and your business. Why are you focusing on making one type of money, in your store, in the US, with one customer at a time, between the hours of 9-5? Why aren’t you using technology to your advantage? Can one of your products be selling while you’re asleep? No, then can you create one? Are you using the free technology available to you or are you spending money on products that you could get without spending a dime? Technology is a beautiful thing and it can help you double, triple even quadruple your efforts- if you Power Culture May/June 2012 59
take the time to look, put systems in place and stop thinking small. You can sell your products in your brick and mortar store, then sell them on your Facebook Fanpage. Tweet coupons on Twitter. Post your products on Pinterest with your website link attached. Write ebooks on your expertise giving advice with embedded links to sell your products and services, and post free videos on Vimeo and youtube with back links to your website and products... I could go on and on. Technology is there, and tons of it is FREE. Use it. NOW!
Ask with confidence, expecting a yes. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is ALWAYS no.
Not making connections or asking for mentors. Men have us here. Not my words, but statistically women don’t make the connections that we need as much as we should. We sometimes prefer to keep our heads down “doing the work” instead of scheduling time to go out to network, have a beer ( ok wine for us), play golf and asking for mentors. Women need to ask for help and mentors immediately, even before the questions are answered. Before the business is begun, your dream
60 Power Culture May/June 2012
team needs to be in pace. Don’t worry if you don’t know what your question is. Make a list of what kinds of people you need/want to meet, make a plan to reach them using live events and social media. Go meet them and be genuine. Most people cannot refuse an honest, sincere request for help, but make sure that you don’t just come with your hands out. Make sure you offer something- to help them with their next event, to volunteer for a day in their office, etc. Ask with confidence, expecting a yes. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is ALWAYS no.
Not delegatingtrying to do everything yourself. A wise women told me, Kristi, if you act as though you are capable of everything, you will get stuck doing everything. She was right, and what she didn’t mention, is that burnout is right around the corner. Make a list of everything you have to do this weekif it doesn’t make you money, it’s an administrative task and someone else should be getting paid $10 an hour
to do it. There are so many ways to leverage yourself so that you can get out there and do what you are most valuable doing- selling yourself, your business, making connections and closing deals. Take the time to put systems in place, hire right and smart, get help where you need it, then let those people do their jobs. Now you get out there on the golf course and close a million dollar deal. Shake something...
Not removing negativity out of your circle quick enough. Are you letting negative Nia stay in your crew because she’s family? Bullcrap. Take her out and anyone else that is not flowing positive, loving energy into your life. There is constructive criticism, that is very needed and you should learn how to tell the difference between the two, but straight negative energy will kill your dreams and your spirit. You are the only one responsible for removing them from your life, your circle, AND your company. This is your business, your life, your dreams, your future. Get those negative people off your back and build your empire. Put a smile on, be confident, put your heels and your lipstick on and create a new positive circle, even if you have to be alone for a while.
They are searching for you, find your tribe... they can either join or wave.
Waiting until you’re an “Expert” to begin. If I hear another woman say the reason she can’t do xyz is because she isn’t expert enough... and I wonder to myself, what committee or board awards the coveted “ expert” status? When is the next meeting, because I know they must be looking for me. Ladies, better yet, CEOs, what are you waiting on? You know yourself, you have something to give, you have talent, you have POWER. You DO NOT need permission to claim yourself a professional, a consultant, a coach, a teacher, a healer, an expert, top notch such and such. Just do it. Work it. Go out there, claim your stake, your status and don’t worry about the people with questions. Fake it until you make it you make it. Have you been waiting on someone to tell you to go? Ok, GO. I said, now let’s get to business.
Kristi L. Jackson
The best, smartest, women’s small business expert in the world.
Power Culture May/June 2012 61
a community of women that believes in pursuing our careers and dreams, having adventures, and living it up first! â€œWe were given life not with the goal of weddings and procreation, but with the goal to achieve our dreams, see the world, have adventures, and to embrace all the wonders our one life has to offer.â€? ~Brenna Smith, founder and CEO
Network with established professionals Change feminine stereotypes Support and empower each other Energize your entrepreneurial spirit Find mentors and mentees Let your voice be heard! As Seen On: Forbes, Yahoo Voices, BusinessNewsDaily.com, Western North Carolina Woman, The Best People We Know Show, Amazing Women Rock, The Career Effect, My Girlfriends, Self-Aid Success Stories and many more...
women of power Started with fear. Obstacles crushed. Doubt disappeared. Empires created. Ended with success. Power multiplied. These women worked against all odds, built businesses, and shared their wisdom with Power Culture Magazine.
Power Culture May/June 2012 63
women of power
Smart Savvy Successful Shark EXCLUSIVE
64 Power Culture May/June 2012
f anyone knows lean startups to multi-million dollar empires, it is Barbara Corcoran. Barbara took a mere thousand dollar loan and turned it into a 5 billion dollar real estate empire! As a “Shark” on ABC’s Shark Tank, a popular show where business owners pitch their company to a panel of successful millionaires in hopes to gain nuggets of advice, partners, investors or capital, Corcoran’s time, advice, and wisdom is priceless. Here, Kristi was able to spend a few precious moments with Barbara Corcoran for Power Culture Magazine.
Many people don’t understand how daunting a task it is to start a real estate company on your own in New York City. It’s a task so big, many women may think- how could I ever achieve that kind of success. Can you tell me what it was like for you in the beginning? BC: Eleven(11) hour days - 7 days a week is how I got to where I am today along with a lot of hard work. I remember just how hard I worked. You are faced with a tremendous work load and you are doing it all! With my first big check I bought a fancy coat – the fanciest coat I could find. When I put that on my back, I became a different woman. Buying a coat that I had no business spending the money on was a great business decision. I felt powerful. It made me “work the coat”. Lesson: Suit up and feel your power!
We recently had a virtual business chat called “No Free LunchWomen Learning to Charge What They’re Worth”, with over 60 women participants and led by Forbes contributor Adrienne Graham. The women felt this was one of their BIGGEST business obstacles; charging friends, family, and clients, or simply stating their price confidently and feeling like they deserved it. What advice can you give a new or existing business woman to speak up and charge her worth? BC: People DO NOT respect anything for FREE! The sooner entrepreneurs’ get that in their heads, the better! Women have been taught to be nice and play nice and it has carried through into their business world. I had to pretend I was a man when Power Culture May/June 2012 65
women of power people were hitting me up. Men do not hold issue with saying “no” nor do they feel obligated to give a reason behind their “no’s”. We feel like we can’t give a “no” without giving some sort of justification for it. With men, a different set of rules seem to apply where their “no’s” are just accepted. Women need to practice this great way of saying “NO!” “Oh I would love to, but I can’t afford to do it.” Afford can mean money, time, expertise, etc. After stating “no” with the closure statement “Oh I would love to but I can’t afford to do it” - move on. No further discussion is necessary.
do manage to build a business while raising a family have accomplished a great feat! Personally, I live like a man. I built my business first- then had the family. I dedicated my time and efforts to one child which was my business. THEN I had a family. Most women don’t do it that way. You are taking a chance with faith by waiting, but I took my chances, took a risk, and it paid off. Now, to create a work/life balance I put an iron wall between home and work. I turn off my cell phone and email at 6 pm and don’t click it back on until 6 am. I do not try to blend work and home. I am extremely organized and hyper focused, but I can’t focus on more than one thing at once. Lesson: Know your strengths and your limitations.
Personally, I live like a man. I built my business first- then had the family. I dedicated my time and efforts to one child - which was my business.
You juggle owning multiple businesses and most of our readers are juggling their new venture, sometimes a full-time job, and a family. What advice would you give a woman who is trying to do it all and do it successfully? BC: Women have a harder time than men when it comes to building a business. Women get the short end of the stick, one might say, if they have a family. It’s very difficult for women to build successful businesses when they have kids. They are in charge of everything! Women realize they are running the race on one leg because the other leg is attached to their family and home. Those women that 66 Power Culture May/June 2012
Starting your business and sustaining it for many, many years, you no doubtingly have learned some success techniques to help a new startup avoid so many bumps and bruises. What 3 key pieces of advice would you give a woman who is planning to start or expand her business in 2012? BC: Don’t wait! Do it while you can. Don’t analyze it to death. Being young and starting out has its benefits. There is great courage and naivety in being
women of power
The biggest obstacle that my readers have, especially in 2012, is finding capital. Many women are looking for funds and trying to attract investors. As an investor of the highly successful “Shark Tank” and hearing an enormous variety of pitches, what would you tell a woman who is hoping to obtain investment dollars and how should she prepare to increase her chances? BC: I would first tell them to check out crowd funding sites. Crowd funding sites are new and are a wonderful concept to fresh startups. Kickstarter
and Indiegogo are a couple of the biggest. Snag what startup cash you can get if you can sell your concept/product on paper. You can also gain backers from the general population and potentially make sales while doing so. Start a marketing pitch online via social media outlets. Look into government support programs for women in business and do not count out the average Joe on every street of America when looking to fund your idea. In ‘Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business’, you have chapters dedicated to gaining a return on your business investment, but could you give the women a few quick tips on how to turn their no or limited capital into a successful business and career? Also,were you able to hire immediately? BC: Fun is good for business and the most under-utilized tool for growing businesses today. If you can have fun in and out of the office, you become the innovator- that’s where I got all my ideas. Creativity was getting people to have fun. Having fun gave me fresh, new ideas. I never had an original ideaI saw it on a billboard, or a hat, and I wondered how I could use this. Take an old story and put a new twist on it – bottom line, you need to have fun! You need to be willing to risk failing and still get back up. The difference between the million dollar company and everyone else is really how long you lay low when you get knocked down. Superstars shake themselves off Power Culture May/June 2012 67
young – similar to jumping off diving board and not knowing what a belly flop felt like, yet once felt, you make sure your next dive is anything but a belly flop! You have to have a gimmick when starting a business. Whatever you are selling- you need a gimmick to gain attention. I did my own report based on my sales and named it behind myself – Corcoran Report. You don’t need a lot in it – just a simple gimmick. When you’re just starting out you have no reputation, no committees, no pecking order, and no attorneys; you can fly with the wind and do it quick. You have the freedom of creativity still in the early years where you do not have to worry about tarnishing or hurting your reputation – you have nothing yet to lose yet potentially everything to gain. Have a solid Statistical Report. Every industry should produce one.
women of power when they get knocked down – and within minutes get right back up! You have to get good at saying “Hit me again” and keep popping back up! I was not able to hire on help immediately. Most lean startups do not have that luxury and I was no exception. My first commission, like I mentioned earlier, I blew on a coat. My 2nd, 3rd, and 4th commissions I used to pay bills. After that, whenever I had extra money after bills, I’d spend it on hiring a sales person. I ran an ad in the New York Times – the same ad each time I could afford to bring another member onto the team. It simply read, “One Empty Desk – looking for commissioned salesperson”. Several people would respond to the ad and I would call them and invite them all in for interview at the same time. It created an environment that emitted a sense of importance and immediate competition. When it comes to firing, it is a necessary evil in business. Everyone got 90 days to produce a sale, or, be fired. If someone wasn’t producing sales it was a big expense to me. In that situation, they must go. Constant complainers must go as well - immediately! I had a tremendous moral obligation to help any employee succeed, but also felt it was ultimately their responsibility to
want to succeed. Once I had done all I could do to try to help them succeed through guidance and they still could not produce, I then had no qualms on letting them go. I felt in a way it was an act of charity to move them on to something that would make them happy.￼ When firing an employee I would bring them in and tell them first, “I have to let you go” and then proceed to tell them why. In addition though, I would also tell them what they did well, what tasks I felt they did succeed at, and what line of work I felt would be better suited for them, basically telling them, “I believe you should find a job that utilizes these things that are your strengths.”
There is great courage and naivety in being young – similar to jumping off diving board and not knowing what a belly flop felt like, yet once felt, you make sure your next dive is anything but a belly flop.
68 Power Culture May/June 2012
Are there any parting words or advice that you’d like to leave our business women with? BC: My mom taught all of us that we had the right to be just as successful as the next person no matter what our station in life. She’d send us out in our tattered clothing to apply for scholarships. We didn’t have the same privileges as many others. By sending us out, she was teaching us to get used to failing but more importantly, she taught us regardless of the risk of failure, we should go through the door. Every
women of power EXCLUSIVE
The inspiring true story of Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran – and her best advice for anyone starting a business! After failing at twenty-two jobs, Barbara Corcoran borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her job as a diner waitress, and started a tiny real estate office in New York City. Using the unconventional lessons she learned from her homemaker mom, she gradually built it into a $6 billion business.
human being has the right to make their life the way they want it to be. They have the right to be who they want to be. My mother knocked that into our heads from the get go. It took us through so many doors. I learned to barrage my way through any door I wanted to enter and once there, I felt like I was supposed to be there. When you get through, you will find the answers you seek. Sometimes it’s a no, but sometimes a yes! People are remarkably resilient yet most simply won’t go through the door. Ladies, you have a right to live in success. You have a right to be here. No matter what, go through the door. PC
Barbara Corcoran www.barbaracorcoran.com ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ Barbara is the author of If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails, an unlikely business book and a national best-seller. In it, Barbara credits her struggles in school and her mother’s kitchen-table wisdom for her success in the business world. The book is a fresh, frank look at how to succeed in life and business and is as heartwarming as it is smart and motivating. Her second book, Nextville, Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life, is fast becoming another best-seller. Barbara is a ‘shark’ on ABC’s Shark Tank and the real estate contributor to the NBC Today Show. She is also a columnist for the New York Daily News and MORE Magazine, and appears on HGTV’s Top Ten and Price Fix on LXTV. ABC’s hit show Shark Tank airs on Friday’s at 8 pm, 7 CT. Below are the links also to two of the teasers for the episodes! Women Power Kevin O’Leary takes no prisoner... including me.
Power Culture May/June 2012 69
women of power
Start a Business... the Scrappy Way! 70 Power Culture May/June 2012
tarting a business is overwhelming. It usually starts with a passion and the desire to be your own boss. And once you decide to take on your own challenge, your mind will not rest and you will not be happy until you know how to move forward. But how do you move forward when you have limited resources? Do you have a day job? You can do it. What if you only have $100 to start? Thatâ€™s okay. But to do itâ€Ś You will have to be scrappy! If you have limited resources to start a business, you need to stay focused. Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of thinking too big too early. Never forget that the purpose of having a business is to make
money and there is no such thing as an overnight success. Make sure this is your primary focus at all times. Unless you have friends in the right places, the days of raising money to fund your business are over â€“ at least for now. You have to make it happen on your own, which makes your time and energy your most precious resources. Starting a business on your own is both an invigorating and intimidating experience. Embrace it for what it is, and get ready to be
You have to make it happen on your own, which makes your time and energy your most precious resources.
Power Culture May/June 2012 71
women of power
Strong branding is the one thing that will set you apart from the competition. Branding runs deeper than a logo. It is the fingerprint of a small business. confident and humble, as both traits are needed for success. Let’s say you want to start a business tomorrow. You have your idea and are ready to run with it. Stick to this list, and you’ll be on the right track. It’s all about being scrappy! The Scrappy Guide to Starting a Business Don’t quit your day job. Starting a business is risky – no matter how confident you feel. Keep your day job until you feel confident that your new business can support you. If you have access to startup capital, the money will go more quickly than you expect, so stay with your day job as long as you can to mitigate risk. Learn about branding. With entrepreneurship on the rise, there are many small businesses out there. Strong branding is the one thing that will set you apart from the competition. Branding runs deeper than a logo. It is the fingerprint of 72
Power Culture May/June 2012
a small business. Branding dictates customer experience, expectations, and is the voice and identity of your business. Buy a book on branding right away. I recommend reading Zag by Marty Neumeier, one of my favorites. Start selling. Sell your product or service as soon as you can. If you have a service-based business, your priority should be finding your first paying customer. You do not need a logo or website to start. If you are building a product, build the simplest version of your product and start selling it as soon as you can. You can perfect the product with customer feedback as you go. Create a logo. Your logo does not need to be perfect to start. Consider getting an inexpensive logo through a crowd-sourcing website like 99designs.com. When you are ready to launch your business on a grander scale, you can create a more polished logo with design professionals.
women of power Create an inexpensive website. As a small business owner, you need a website that you can manage yourself. There are plenty of website solutions that allow you to edit your own content, like WordPress and Squarespace. Be courageous and try to build the website yourself using one of these platforms. You can pay for a beautiful website when you are making money. Learn social media. You may ask, “How do I start selling right away?” The answer is to meet as many people as you can! Attend networking events and learn how to use social media. Get familiar with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. There are specific ways to use social media to increase exposure and sales. Depending on your situation, it is often to your benefit to pay someone to train you how to use social media, instead of paying someone to do it for you. Listen to customer feedback. You never really know what people will think of your product or service until you ask. Ask for feedback from your target audience often. Opinions from family and friends are biased,
so choose real potential customers and listen carefully to their feedback. Customer feedback will drive the direction of your business. When you think about “having it all” in your career and personal life, there are few things that are more attractive than owning your own business. Remember that following your passion is hard work and limit your stress by not reinventing the wheel. Get help to stay focused when you need it, and above all, stay scrappy! PC
Kate Walling www.ScrappyFace.com Kate Walling is Founder and CEO of Scrappy Face (http://scrappyface. com), a small business agency that specializes in social media, branding, and marketing. Kate created Scrappy Face around the “scrappy” methodologies she developed while running her previous startups and around the philosophy that small business owners need quality help at a price they can afford and in a way that works best for their unique business. Through Scrappy Face, Kate teaches small businesses and startups how to avoid pitfalls and how to stand out from the noise in the marketplace. Kate lives on a hill in Seattle with her three scrappy dachshunds. She blogs at KateWalling.com and you can follow her tweets @KateWalling. Power Culture May/June 2012 73
women of power
The Birth of a Rock Star 74
Power Culture May/June 2012
rom success in pharmaceutical sales to owner of one of the hottest event and lounge rental companies in the United States, Jade Gold has taken the Houston and surrounding areas by storm. From propping and styling events such as the NBA All Star Weekend, Cirque Soiree, Latin Grammys, countless weddings, and numerous other special events, you will see Prop Rock’s amazing flare for setting the perfect stage. But how does one go from pharmaceutical sales to owning and running such a successful business? Power Culture shares with you first hand through the generous interview with Jade Gold, the creator behind this successful venture. Jade, what gave you the idea for Prop Rock and how did you get started? JG: Purely happenstance! Both of my parents were entrepreneurs so I guess that ran through me to begin with, but I found myself working in pharmaceutical sales. After 12 years in sales and making a six figure income, I wasn’t doing bad, but longed for more. I had this phenomenal business plan that I felt very strongly about. I built my business plan from similar companies I saw and liked in Vegas and Los Angeles. It was the type of business the Houston area needed, yet wasn’t provided. I perfected my business plan, started making
connections, emptied my 401k, and found a manufacturer. I took a leap of faith, approached the event host for the Crystal Icon Awards and told them I’d do their VIP section for free for the exposure. They accepted my offer and ever since then I’ve been Prop Rock! Most entrepreneurs don’t understand beforehand what it takes to start a business; can you tell us what a typical day is like for you? JG: There are moments when you just pray to God to go back to salary- at least then when you walk out of the door, the job/day is done. My children Power Culture May/June 2012 75
women of power the things that MUST get done in my day. I never miss a night reading a story to my son. That next contract, it can wait. As an entrepreneur, it never stops; there is no time limit on your work or completing your to do list. I took the time to explain to my children that I do not work a typical 9 to 5 job, but I do have a standing date night with them. They need their mom at home spending that quality time. It is truly a courageous dance in the moment- being a full-time mom and successful entrepreneur, but well worth every dance step. Your company has gotten some awesome exposure and TV placements including Platinum Weddings and WE TV’s My Fair Wedding, how did you do it? will tell you, mommy is always working. I get up at 5:30 am, go to the gym, have my moment with God, and then head to the office. My day is nonstop until 3:30 to pick up my children. In the evening, I am generally working on proposals or working a Prop Rock event . My daughter, who is 18 now, helps out. In my industry the only days we take off is Easter and Christmas. There are no vacations and not many holidays for me. You have a family AND a business, how do you create a work/life balance? JG: I’ve learned that life can change in an instant, and have prioritized 76 Power Culture May/June 2012
JG: My dad, the consummate entrepreneur, was a wise man whom I respected and truly admired his business acumen. He used to always share what he coined “golden nuggets” of advice. One in particular was, “I don’t care what business you do in life, always learn how to sell YOU first.” From that nugget I ventured to Facebook. I knew there I could gain more exposure than any other form of advertisements I had spent my money on in the past. People became familiar with Jade the person without me ever having to spend a dime on marketing. On Facebook there are ways to connect yourself socially and put your business in the path of opportunity. David Tutera found me on Facebook from my photos on my fanpage and
women of power contacted me. Networking at a charity event-being in the right place at the right time; I was introduced to Debra Duncan who was interested in a new look for the set of her show. Both opportunities were sheer blessings that would not have happened if I wasn’t taking advantage of Facebook’s reach. You started a business that had many upfront costs including inventory and insurances, and employees. How did you fund your business?
salaries they deserve. Over the years I have learned how to budget and plan for the future. I encourage women to step out on faith but not to do it carelessly. Don’t quit your job until you have some reserve funds. Determine why a potential customer would come to you as opposed to your competition who can spend 20k a month on marketing. What’s your unique selling point? You have to find ways to set yourself apart from your competition, often times on no budget at all. This is not glamorous; there is real work behind this business. I keep it real; things are hard sometimes. Things don’t always work out as planned but you have to be strong and ready. Even to this day I still run into times where I have to put my Prop Rock tee shirt on, get my hands dirty, and Prop Rock it!
Even to this day I still run into times where I have to put myPropRock tee shirt on, get my hands dirty, and Prop Rock it!
JG: When it comes to wanting to start a business, reality sets in when it comes to funding it. People sell you on the dream and forget to tell you about the reality. For me, it was beyond hard. There are still times where I still very much struggle. You can’t just walk into the SBA and get a loan from a business plan. I didn’t have the working capital to hire a CPA and a receptionist in the beginning and in the first year, every dollar from every single event that came in had to go right back out of the door to pay for bills and business expenses. Finally, a surplus came where we could pay the bills, and then start hiring help. I’ve had my struggles with increasing inventory, repairing inventory, and hiring employees on
What have been some of your failures and how did you learn from them? JG: One of my greatest learning lessons was thinking that because I started my company as a sole proprietor, I could run my business like I ran my personal life. In your business from the day you open, you should have a team. I didn’t seek legal counsel at the beginning, nor Power Culture May/June 2012 77
women of power
Be Bold. Build the best business you cando it with a vengeance AND a plan. keep good paperwork/records. By not having help, you are NOT saving yourself money. I wish now I would have invested the money to create a dream team in the beginning. I’ve learned valuable lessons and will not dwell on the past. God has given me a gift and part of my gift is giving and kingdom building from what I have learned and experienced. I must use my gift. I’m going to keep growing others in hopes that I am doing the right thing. What 3 key pieces of advice would you give a woman wanting to start her business in 2012? 1. Find a mentor in your business as soon as you can or even before starting. Get someone who has been there, done that, who can help you and wants to. 2. You have to remove your emotion out of your business. I kept people on because I cared about them but they were not right for my business. 78 Power Culture May/June 2012
Keep business, business, and personal, personal. 3. Think about what you want your brand to look like? How do you want a potential customer to feel when they walk in or hear your business name? Determine what you want your business to represent then build a brand around that. Remember, perception is the client’s reality. You are the intricate key to how that brand is perceived, and you must thoroughly understand this. In parting, are there any nuggets you want to leave the women with? JG: There is nothing in this world that should stop you from fulfilling your dreams, but if you’re going to do it, do it with the mindset that you are going to do it appropriately. Be strategic. Be bold. Build the best business you can-do it with a vengeance AND a plan. PC
Applications Open for Women of POWER Are you a Woman of Power? When you speak, do you ignite Change, Progression, Success, Peace, Encouragement, Wisdom, and ACTION? Then we are looking for you! Women CEO Project is putting together a Dream Team of 30 Female speakers for exciting new events and projects in 2012 and beyond. Want to be considered? Applications for Women of Power open up May 1, 2012 and end May 20th!
Deadline: May 20, 2012 What do you need to do? Fill out the Women of Power Application by clicking and upload your speakerâ€™s kit here. We are so excited about working with a group of ambitious strong women. Apply Today!
women of power
Sage Advice from the Chief in Charge EXCLUSIVE
80 Power Culture May/June 2012
s an entrepreneur, business planning and start up can be one of the most stressful times of business ownership. You can see the shinning star you desperately want to reach, yet often wonder if you will ever reach it and the “how” to get it accomplished. This is one of the many reasons we want to share with you, Amy Cosper, a true shinning star in her own rights. We had the privilege of getting some valuable insight from her on being an entrepreneur and reaching star status. Amy Cosper is the Editor in Chief of the prestigious magazine “Entrepreneur.” Cosper graduated with a degree in Art History and Italian from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her thought initially after graduating was to work as a Museum Curator. However, the demand for a museum curator who can speak
fluent Italian was non- existent. Because of this lack of opportunity locally, Cosper fell back on one of her best skills – writing. Cosper started her early budding career as a tech reporter and scooted her way up the editor food chain. Amy Cosper has always been in media in some fashion, including the two years she ran her own media company. Cosper shared that while running her own business she burned through all of her cash and her business partner moved to Portland resulting in the dissolution of her
Innovative, creative, and new ways of doing business get my attention.
Power Culture May/June 2012 81
women of power
Do not think of your self as a woman in business. Nope; you are a business person. The minute you start to think in terms of a handicap, it will set you back. Be in business. company. With that, she returned to working as an editor, however, she never regretted taking a risk or a minute of the time she spent running her own business. She shared, “I wouldn’t change a thing. It was the best education of my professional life.” With Cosper’s experience of running her own company (openly aware of the pitfalls that can creep up on a business owner, sometimes unexpectedly, yet still make a success out of her life), we knew she would be an exceptional resource to tap in regards to solid advice in starting a business. When asked what key pieces of advice she would share with women planning on starting a business in 2012, Amy Cosper did not hesitate to share with us as her most crucial piece of advice, “Do not think of your self as a woman in business. Nope; you are a business person. The minute you start to think in terms of a handicap, it will set you back. Be in business. Be bold – there is no need to categorize yourself.” The question most frequently asked 82 Power Culture May/June 2012
of Women CEO is about capital – how to find it and secure it to help grow ones’ business. Money is always a prevalent issue when it comes to starting a business. Often it can be the key factor that scares many away from pursuing their dream. We picked Amy Cosper’s’ mind on her thoughts regarding solid ways one could go about securing money for a budding business owner. Cosper shared, “Ahh money. It’s always the thing. The answer to your question really depends on the scale and scope of each situation. Right now, money is hard to come by, but it’s out there. Banks are slowly loosening the purse strings. Friends, family, and fools are always a very good way to start. The key to securing a loan or getting the attention of investors is to have a very well articulated, very clear vision of what your business is. You must be able to explain it in 4 sentences or less.” Under a similar premise, as money can often be a make or break component for a business,
women of power so many startups rise, and then fall from many other reasons including lack of planning and lack of a true vision. Cosper shared with us some key tips in bettering the chances of keeping ones’ business afloat, “Clearly understand your mission and vision. Have goals; but understand that sometimes you need to pivot, and that’s ok, too. Be proactive, not reactive and for heaven’s sake, don’t focus or obsess about your competitors. Be original, be authentic, but do not be seduced by fleeting trends.” Entrepreneur.com offers a wealth of insight on business from startup to marketing and everything in between. Cosper, as the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine, oftentimes can be bombarded with pitches from business owners in an attempt to get their company featured. Cosper shared with us this tidbit, if you are pitching to Entrepreneur.com or any other media outlet, “Being innovative, creative, and finding new ways of doing business get my attention. Bribery does not really work. Sending cupcakes or giant boxes of cookies will make me fat, but not inspired to write a story about you. Have a great story. That’s all it takes. Email is the best way to pitch. Just tell your story. That’s how it works best.” In continuing to stay atop of all the latest news, trends, and innovations in the industry, Cosper devours everything she can in regards to business, culture, and economic related in print (books, blogs, and magazines). She shared with us “I
love Fast Company’s wit and I love Esquire’s charm. “The Innovator’s Dilemma” is the best business book of all time. I’m currently reading a decidedly non-business book -“Dante in Love.” Sometimes you just gotta zone out.” In business, people influence, encourage, and inspire you. They are essential in your continued growth and success. In closing, we asked Amy Cosper to share with us who has been the strongest influence and encouragement in her life. Cosper told us that her mother and father were her biggest inspirations. Her mother for never losing faith in her, even when at times Cosper had lost faith herself; and her father because it was him who taught her how to be fearless, creative, and how to never stop using her mind. Take some time out of your schedule to visit Entrepreneur.com. You will find inspiration, stay afloat of the latest news and trends with business, and get a lot of excellent tips that will help you in all aspects in business. PC
Power Culture May/June 2012 83
women of power
The Art of the Start 84 Power Culture May/June 2012
“Starting and running a business is like having a baby and raising a child. Just like children, your business is always there and always on your mind.” - Alyssa Gregory
omen entrepreneurs’ that have children have found an entirely new level in the word “challenge.” It is not for the weak or timid and definitely not for those who cannot handle long hours and super multi-tasking! Alyssa Gregory, CEO of Small Business Bonfire and Avertua LLC. can testify to that. A mother of 3 children, all under the age of 5 and an entrepreneur, Alyssa knows what it takes to keep the home front running simultaneously with a business.
Gregory was not always as successful in business as she is today. Now holding great honors as an experienced and established woman entrepreneur, she had her share of failures along the path to her amazing success. It was due to these bumps and failures that created the savvy business woman she has become. Gregory studied business in school and entered the world of
employment at the ripe age of 23. She started working for a non-profit organization as the head tech of their website which included training staff, trouble-shooting and other various web related tasks. She handled the responsibility professionally; however, not feeling 100% satisfied, she started her own business on the side. Although it failed a mere year and a half later, it was just one of the stepping stones that added to her Power Culture May/June 2012 85
women of power education in business. Gregory will tell you that her real education came (and still comes) in the form of trial and error; being in the trenches. After spending over 13 years studying and researching topics related to business, Gregory became a trusted expert, consultant and advisor. She shared with us, “I have talked to thousands of small business owners, started several more businesses, and wrote about my experiences. The result has been an in-depth and intimate knowledge of what it takes to not only survive but also thrive as a small business owner.” It is due to this diligence in obtaining as much possible knowledge about the business world that has created the quite evident expert status that she currently holds. Alyssa Gregory’s expert status did not come about without a cost though. She had to dedicate endless hours to her business solely. Often times, entrepreneurs’ get into business without being fully aware of the large time commitment it entails. Gregory was no stranger to this as she shared with us, “Starting and running a business is like having a baby and raising a child. Just like children, your business is always there, always on your mind. There is no downtime, there are no breaks. I’m probably not a good gauge on what a 86 Power Culture May/June 2012
typical day in the life of a business owner is like, simply because mine borders on crazy.” Gregory, juggling two thriving businesses (Small Business Bonfire and Avertua LLC.) and her three small children shares, “If you consider that a business is like a child, then I have five needy little ones vying for my attention all the time!” Gregory’s day starts at 2:00 a.m. and ends around 8:00 p.m., and her hours in between those times are literally packed. “For me, every day is a workday -- holidays, weekends, you name it. I love what I do, every single part of it.” she says. Loving what you do helps make the long hours less draining and easier, yet Gregory shared with us that “you have to have a willingness to push yourself to your limits, and leave your comfort zone if you really want to thrive in business.” Three key pieces of advice Gregory shares with new business owners are:
Starting and running a business is like having a baby and raising a child. Just like children, your business is always there and always on your mind.
1. Take Time to Set Goals. You don’t need to go to the extreme time commitment I do in order to be successful, but you do need to make a commitment! Set SMART goals, and be ready to make sacrifices so you can achieve those goals, because starting a business starts with setting goals. You need to know where you want to end up, and then you
women of power
You need to know where you want to end up, and then you can construct a plan that will get you from Point A to Point B. can construct a plan that will get you from Point A to Point B. 2. Don’t Be Scared of the Plan. So many entrepreneurs get hung up on the business planning process. And it’s no wonder; it’s intimidating. But it’s also a necessary part of starting a business. The good news is that your plan doesn’t have to be structured and formal, at least not initially. You can create a simple business plan in just a few hours that will help you get focused and motivated. A resource I made available to new small business owners is the Small Business Kickstart Kit. It is a great reference that can help startups create a plan, stay on track and motivated to meet their goals. It is extremely affordable with even the tiniest of budgets and it’s available on the Small Business Bonfire website. http://smallbusinessbonfire.com/ small-business-kickstart-kit 3. Get Outside Your Own Head. Entrepreneurs tend to keep to themselves for a variety of reasons,
but pulling in and closing yourself off is one of the worst things you can do as a new business owner. You need to be around other entrepreneurs in order to challenge yourself, learn from your peers and overcome obstacles. You can do it in-person, online or both (that’s the best!), but make sure you are putting yourself out there to help others, collaborate and get support. No one understands an entrepreneur like another entrepreneur. Securing capital- investors or banks that will lend money to start a business seems to be a reoccurring dilemma for many start-ups. Although Gregory has bootstrapped every single one of her businesses, from her experience she shared, “Entrepreneurs who have access to rolling capital and significant loans are the minority. Most small business owners end up trying to go cheap, or they pile up credit card debt to make their dream a reality. There are other options, though. You can start your business incrementally, creatively Power Culture May/June 2012 87
women of power You can start your business incrementally, creatively coming up with low-cost alternatives so you can start slim, build a profit first, and then grow.
coming up with low-cost alternatives so you can start slim, build a profit first, and then grow. You can partner up with an existing business so you share expenses. You can even try crowd-funding or peer-topeer lending.” Other areas many new business owners have difficulty in are effective marketing and what tools will give them the best return on their investment. Gregory shared with us from her years of experience that social media without a doubt wins hands down in marketing. “If you’ve been resisting social media, now is the time to get started. It’s taking over every aspect of online marketing, it’s inexpensive and it gives you a reach that was simply unheard of ten years ago.” When it comes to the TOP and most underutilized tools a new business can use to get themselves up and going and to remain running successfully, Gregory had plenty to
88 Power Culture May/June 2012
share with us on that. “Some of the best tools are those that help you collaborate and build relationships - Skype, virtual phone lines, new media, to name a few. I’d also say that online business communities, like the Small Business Bonfire, are not only great platforms to find opportunities for collaboration, but they can also be a source for leads and new business,” she shared. In concluding our time with Alyssa Gregory, we asked her for any last tidbits of advice she would like to give women entrepreneurs. This is what she shared with us; “You have a distinct advantage by being a female entrepreneur. You already know how to juggle 5 million things in your day, fight adversity and win, and use your passion to enhance and enrich your brand. With the confidence that you will succeed (and you should fake it until it comes naturally!), you have the power to be unstoppable.” PC
Are you using one of the Most POWERFUL Social Media Platforms to Leverage Your Business and Brand? Join Women CEO Project and Google as we host Google+ for Biz! The team of experts will walk attendees through : Google +
Google Apps for Business
Setting up a Google+ Page for their Business
How to get a FREE website and
How to use many features such as circles and hangouts for quick and quality engagement How to control what info is shared about your Biz How to get your post to rank higher using Google+
How to get 10 FREE domain email addresses for your business How to utilize Google sites as a FREE internal network How to incorporate Google Docs and Calendars into your business efficiently
Come get one on one time with the Google team, ask questions and learn from the pros! Only @45 Seats Available and 10 Livestream Seats!!!! Cost: 20.00
Register: www.googleplusforbiz.eventbrite.com When: May 21, 2012 Where: Hotel Indigo 5160 Hidalgo St Galleria/Uptown Houston, Tx 77056 Bring:1. Your wifi enabled laptop. 2. A gmail email account already set up.
**All Attendees will also get a FREE Google+ Book!!!!
women of power
A Dream Deferred 90 Power Culture May/June 2012
e recently got the opportunity to interview the energetic powerhouse and the brains behind Women CEO Project and Power Culture Magazine, Kristi L. Jackson. We found Kristi to be absolutely full of valuable information for every woman business owner. She was incredible to talk to, not only because of her tremendous knowledge, but also because of her fun and engaging personality.
We started out by asking Kristi a little about her early years. Kristi told us an intriguing story of how she refused to accept the dismal fate that awaited most of the young women of her community. Kristi explained that there were no real role models for young women, particularly for young black women, in her hometown community of Alexandria, Louisiana. Her parents told her that her goal should be to get a traditional job. She should be a teacher, a bank employee, or have any job where she sat at a desk, pushed papers and retired after 30 years. It is hard to imagine now, but through part of her life, she thought the very most she could expect to make was $35,000 a year.
After she volunteered in a hospital for 4 years, Kristiâ€™s parents sent her off to nursing school. The problem was that she did not like the field. Even worse, she could not stand the sight of blood. It was a nightmare for her. She finally dropped out of school for a short time. Kristiâ€™s sister would not let her give up. She took Kristi to the best neighborhood in Houston, to the most expensive mall and showed her what she would be missing if she did not finish her college education. Kristi was convinced. She started back to college as soon as possible, but she changed her major to computer science and business. Kristi told us that her next hurdle was finding a job in the midst of the Power Culture May/June 2012 91
women of power Most inspiring to Kristi was being able to personally touch through services, events or classes, over 1000 women within the first year of Women CEO Project.
uncertainty surrounding September 11, 2001. She did retail for awhile, but then she found her passion. Real estate would fascinate her and occupy her from then on, in one way or another. Wanting to learn everything she could, Kristi studied, went to seminars and workshops. Most of all, she read. In fact, she read over 200 books in a very short time. With her newfound knowledge and her experience in real estate, she quickly became an expert in the field. We asked Kristi about her biggest hurdle, setback or failure. She was very positive in everything she said, but she did tell us about a problem she had in learning the business. Kristi said that she took a little longer than she would have liked to learn to dot all her i’s and cross all her t’s in real estate deals. She took awhile longer than she wanted to discover when people were being dishonest with her. She did learn from those mistakes, though, and her success is absolute proof of it. Kristi has taken all those years and knowledge and transferred them into her life’s 92 Power Culture May/June 2012
purpose, creating the Women CEO Project’s companies. We knew a little about the Women CEO Project, so we asked Kristi to tell us more. She told us that she was inspired to start the group by other businesswomen. After just one month, the feedback was overwhelming. She did more research on the business and decided it would do just fine, both as a lucrative venture and a fulfilling occupation. We wanted to know what Kristi’s biggest inspiration was with the Women CEO Project. She explained that seeing women start with mere ideas and goals then creating real businesses was exhilarating. She saw the potential of the group to inspire and assist women in acting on their dreams and pursuing their goals. Maybe most inspiring to Kristi was being able to personally touch through services, events or classes, over 1000 women within the first year of Women CEO Project and to begin the expansion of the services and open a virtual university in 2012 .
women of power
We thought Kristi was a wonderful person to advise young women starting out in business, and we asked her what she would tell them. Kristi said that the most important thing for young women to remember is to just start. Never let yourself get into analysis paralysis. Keep in mind that you will never figure out everything beforehand. As someone said, â€œJump, and build your wings on the way down.â€? Start quickly and be open to improvements. Correct your mistakes along the way. Kristi called this a lean startup. You should start quickly, according to Kristi, but you have to do your due diligence. Study for a short time, long enough to understand something about the venture, its potential and what you need to do. Then, just do it without dwelling on it too long. One thing Kristi wanted us to understand was that women should not undervalue themselves. She explained that most women will study and gain experience for 20 years before they will call themselves an expert. In reality, several years of experience and a lot of in depth reading on the subject will make you an expert in a much shorter time. You
just have to have confidence, be vocal, and speak a little louder. Asked what her goals are for the Women CEO Project, Kristi said addition of services, strategic growth and GLOBAL EXPANSION! In 2012, she extended the brand by offering Power Culture Magazine, a digital gem created for the ambitious, tech-savvy, connected female entrepreneur. Women CEO Project is alway gearing up for a conference, tour, a new flagship program and additional services offered in the virtual university. Power Culture May/June 2012 93
women of power
94 Power Culture May/June 2012
women of power
Kristi wants to travel the world delivering a powerful message and service to women that not only empowers but helps them to take ACTION! She also wants to change the attitudes of women about how much money they should make and about getting investors. Kristi explained that most women think of creating lifestyle businesses rather than visualizing themselves starting and owning wealthproducing million dollar enterprises. A man would say, “How can I make a million dollars?” A woman might say, “How can I make the $1500 I need for this month’s budget?” As far as investment, women tend to invest the money they already
have. Men go out and find investors to back them up. A man would get one million dollars from investors to make ten times as much in a year. A woman would likely use her own money and take many more years to get as far, if she could make it at all. It is these attitudes that Kristi hopes to change through the Women CEO Project’s companies and programs. If our chat with Kristi Jackson taught us anything it is that success is achievable if you take the right steps. Kristi’s personal style is warm and friendly, and her ideas are sound. It took many years to get to where she is now, and she claims the road is much longer and that this is only the beginning! PC
Women should not undervalue themselves.
Power Culture May/June 2012 95
Tweets of Advice Startup from Power Culture American Express Open forum helped Power Culture in finding out the TOP Startup Advice for your business from entrepreneurs whoâ€™ve done it! 96 Power Culture May/June 2012
“Be willing to work HARD, believe wholeheartedly in your product/service and champion your brand.” Absolute Transportat@AbsoluteTranspt
“Watch every expense. Every purchase should be a “I must have this to move forward” item or service.” Pat Heck@pat_heck
“Networking is the number one way to build a foundation of knowledgeable people you can tap when you need help.” Denice Harlan@pat_heck
“Have a Plan A, a Plan B, and a Plan C... then expect the unexpected. Don’t try to wing it!” J. Michael Graham@pat_heck
“Invest in professional logo/identity design. It’s the face of your business & says a lot about your company.” Chris OBrien@chrisobrien “Be yourself ! Chase your dreams.” Shafi Ahamed@Shafianin “Get traction. Don’t spin wheels on biz plans.” Mike Powell@MPConsults “It’ll take time to fall in place so don’t give up on your dream; endurance.” shalinilearningspace@shalinilearning “Its hard to reduce clutter & focus. Less is more.” Malinda Hartong@malindahartong “You definitely have to address a problem in the marketplace to find your niche. That’s the way to succeed!” Jessica Pritchett@PritchettShoes “Don’t invest your money get someone to invest you will never loose.” Rmn@comeonreadthis
“Plan to stick it out and not give up. Success is a process, focus on the goal, weather the storms and never give up.” UrbanTao Acupuncture@pat_heck Power Culture May/June 2012 97
our pick “Do not try to “be” an entrepreneur. Do the basics or you business well, and be an entrepreneur as natural sequallae.” Ed Shahzade@Ed “Consistent ‘brand’ with products that compliment it.” Malinda Hartong@malindahartong “You definitely have to address a problem in the marketplace to find your niche. That’s the way to succeed!” Jessica Pritchett@PritchettShoes “Best Startup Advice: Learn to be an editor, not a perfectionist. Ship. Edit. Re-ship!” Shama Kabani (Hyder)@Shama “Have a business plan before doing a startup.” IWMF@IWMF “To get on google plus hang out with me right now... meaning just take action every single day.” Starr Hall@Starr Hall “Try, try again. Fail, fail again. Feel better. - Samuel Beckett” Kristi L. Jackson@womenceo
“Best advice above all is to seek knowledge from those who have done what you are about to do. Amazing what you will learn.” Lee Murray@HarvardMurray
“1) Pray for the Best and Prepare for the Worst! 2) Focus on Quality not Quantity 3) “Rome was not built in one day.” Dr. Rico Short@drricoshort
“Be prepared to put in a ton of hours and spend a lot of money to get started. It’s like pulling a bus.” Erica Ehm@YummyMummyClub
“Stay “CONFIDENT” in your Business, it will “Oooze” through your Service or Product!!!!” BlackMovieOasis@blackmovieoasis
“Love your job. Be persistent. Have courage. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help. Good luck!” Ryan Hamze @RyanHamze
98 Power Culture May/June 2012
Present, Promote and Sell Yourself as an Expert Webinar May 15th! 6-8pm CT Think you need years to start claiming your expert status and get paid? NOT TRUE. You are already “Expert Enough”! Attendees will learn many strategies to project their “Expert Status” like: • Creative Writing Techniques and Placement for your articles and books • How to use Social Media to Brand You and Your business as a Leading Authority
Maximum Exposure • Using Video for added Revenue • How to Present like a Pro and Leverage your Time • Much, much more...
• How to Gain and Leverage Media Placements for
Click here to register and Join us for this AWESOME Virtual Training- this is usually a PACKED webinar so grab your seat today!
power reads Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
To me, this is one of the BEST, most informative books on networking strategically making powerful connections, and reaching out for help with a no fear mindset.
The 5th Discipline by Peter M. Senge E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a successful business. In every business owner lies 3 personalities, the manager, the entrepreneur, and the worker. This book helps you determine what your strong points are to play your best game.
100 Power Culture May/June 2012
As a startup sometimes your only competitive advantage is your nimbleness and ability to learn fast. This book focuses on how to clean up management, effectively communicate with employees and move your company forward quickly.
The Lean startup by Eric Ries The Lean Startup: Why spend months perfecting a bad idea? Get it startup working, put it out there and tweak it along the way. This book shows you how to do it strategically, more successfully and FAST.
Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing by Robert T. Kiyosaki The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. The author reveals the secrets of how the wealthiest Americans become even wealthier, and how all Americans can learn how to benefit from some simple investing secrets - merely by knowing where and how to invest their money.
The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business by Sun Tzu
Strategy is one of the most effective tools you can have in your arsenal as a business owner. Why not learn from one of the best leaders in history?
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
This is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow’s enterprises.
Power Culture May/June 2012 101
In the world of entrepreneurship, one important thing to always keep in the forefront of your heart and mind is to show tribute to others that have touched your life personally or that you feel have brought a significant contribution to fellow entrepreneurs’. With that, we would like to share some companies and organizations we feel embody just that. 102 Power Culture May/June 2012
ress for Success Dress for Success is an awesome organization that helps disadvantaged women by assisting them in their career and personal development while providing additional support in obtaining professional attire for the work force. Their success rate is extraordinary in promoting the economic independence of women around the world. www.dressforsuccess.com
irlup Girl Up is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Girl Up gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders by channeling their energy
and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. www.girlup.org
omen Worldwide Initiative The Women Worldwide Initiative is a fiscally sponsored organization of Subud International Cultural Association. The Women Worldwide Initiative mission is to connect, inspire, and educate females of all ages on a global scale through mentorship programs, social change projects, and an information and inspirationbased online social network. womenworldwideinitiative.org
They had us in mind... Kickstarter.com …because Kickstarter understands the #1 need of the “new” entrepreneur - finding capital, and have created an awesome platform to help entrepreneur’s get the money they need. www.kickstarter.com Spanx.com …and our figure too! But, seriously, Spanx needs no explanation. Sarah Blakely created an accessible and affordable way for women to look
even more beautiful no matter their shape. Nothing more needs said. www.spanx.com Poppin.com …when they created vibrant and affordable office supplies and desk accessories specifically for the “girl” in all of us. Poppin gives us style without blowing up our budget. I mean, who really needs a pink stapler? www.poppin.com
Power Culture May/June 2012 103
Quote Me Sometimes you need just a few words of encouragement to keep you going, to pick you up, or to inspire you. We asked our readers, â€œWhat Quotes inspire you the most?â€?
104 Power Culture May/June 2012
Nothing will work unless you do - Maya Angelou
Screw second best-leftovers. Donâ€™t get caught pecking around for crumbs left by people with real POWER. Change your own life. You have all the power you need. - Kristi L. Jackson If you donâ€™t like where you are, change it. You are not a tree. - Jim Rohn
Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it. - Oprah Winfrey Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition. - Marilyn Monroe
Power Culture May/June 2012 105
our pick Nothing is impossible. The word itself says” I’m Possible”. - Audrey Hepburn
The question isn’t who’s going to let me, it’s who’s going to STOP Me. - Ayn Rand
Try, try again. Fail, fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Beckett
I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass. - Maya Angelou Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. - Oprah Winfrey
106 Power Culture May/June 2012
power corner Power Tips Constantly Network ALWAYS Dress Professionally Determine Your Brand (3 words) Determine Your Goals Create Your Own Content
Kristi J ackson
www.po wercultu re
Power Actions Meet 3-5 New Contacts Per Week Connect with Contacts within 24hrs Communicate your Brand Weekly Set a Deadline for Goals Video Yourself & Start Talking
108 Power Culture May/June 2012
Professional Biz Cards Crisp Black Suit A Clean Interactive Website An Accountability Partner Youtube
Power Culture May/June 2012 109
Have a Powerful Company? Power Culture magazine is gaining momentum as a leading digital source for the powerful and connected buisness woman who wants access to the latest Trends, News, Businesses, Technology and Travel. She is tech savvy and loves to read and shop online. Want to oblige her?
To learn more about advertising with Power Culture magazine, contact us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.