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An easy read with ideas to inspire you to take action now.

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Asking for a Raise Right Few things come easily—whether you’re trying to rise in the workplace or build something on your own. Very often we spend the bulk of our time fantasizing about what could be, and lamenting what is. Stop dreaming and begin doing. Success rarely occurs in a vacuum. You’ve got to commit to making it happen. Besides, it feels good to set a goal and achieve it. I did that 12 years ago when I took a spark of an idea—career expos for women—and then made it a reality. Today, Women For Hire is a trusted brand in the women’s career advancement community. I created it out of thin air, but my success didn’t appear out of nowhere. It took—and continues to take—plenty of serious hustle. While my commitment to Women For Hire remains as strong as ever, last year I began to hear from more women who dreamed of starting their own businesses. When, they asked, would I cater to them—women who own small businesses or want to? Obviously, their request resonated with me since I had left the corporate world to go out on my own. I wanted to experience that high again— the one that comes from seeing an idea

sprout and grow. I wanted to create a venue where current or aspiring women entrepreneurs could listen to other women who have walked the walk, who know what it takes to sell products, market their services and meet a payroll. Women who are passionate about what they do. Our first three-day Spark & Hustle conference in Atlanta last July was a fantastic event that drew 200 women with a wide variety of businesses and interests. Everyone left saying they couldn’t wait for the next Spark & Hustle. Their feedback inspired me to dream even bigger—and the result is this spring’s Spark & Hustle national tour in eight cities, with a one-year reunion set for Atlanta from July 21 to 23. I went from a dream (the idea of Spark & Hustle) to a decision (a commitment to creating this conference series) to doing (we’re in the trenches now). Dreaming is good. But doing is better. Will you commit to taking action now? Whether it’s finding a job or starting your own business, you’ll be glad you made it happen. I’m rooting for your success.

Tory Johnson 3

CREATE YOUR HAPPY COLLAGE I keep a bulletin board by my desk that’s covered with assorted photos of happy moments. It serves just one simple purpose: to make me smile. Who doesn’t feel good when looking at images of people we adore and memories we want to savor forever? Here’s a recreation of tidbits from the last 12 months that I hope will inspire you to create your own happy collage. It reminds us why we work as hard as we do for the experiences we love.—Tory Johnson



working women inspired

achieving excellence

Opportunity at ADP. It goes beyond being part of a $9 billion global leader in workforce solutions. With us, opportunity means giving you more pathways to growth, with benefits such as tuition reimbursement and online training. It means bringing you closer to those who can impact your development, through our Women in Leadership mentoring initiative. And it means offering unique programs for women, designed to help you at each stage of your career. Join us at ADP, and discover how we’re counting on you to come in and make a real difference, every day.

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ADP believes that diversity leads to strength. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer; M/F/D/V. The ADP logo is a registered trademark of ADP, Inc. All other logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Š ADP, 2011.



Look in the dictionary under mentor: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. Now check out champion: one that defends, fights for or supports a cause or another person. Obviously, it’s always smart to identify workplace mentors and seek their advice. With age comes wisdom and it often pays to listen to people who have been there and have battle scars to prove it. But in today’s competitive climate, finding a champion—someone who’ll not only take you by the hand, but, more importantly, speak up for your advancement— may prove more valuable. While a mentor answers questions and dispenses advice, workplace champions encourage you—even force you—to rise to your highest potential. They use their clout to help make it happen because they’re secure enough to take someone under their wing. Many times, when it comes to seeking a mentor, we look to the familiar: other women. While having a female on your

side is perfectly acceptable, don’t rule out men. A 2009 Catalyst study found that many men like helping women colleagues because they enjoy defying certain masculine norms. Others simply feel that helping women advance in the workplace is the right thing to do. A few tips on choosing a champion: Don’t assume you’ll have the ability to simply anoint a champion, especially since you should be seeking someone more senior—not your equal. These relationships take time to develop and involve chemistry and trust. Be upfront about your goals. You can’t expect someone to help you advance unless he or she knows your specific game plan. Make sure whomever you’re aligned with is truly committed to your success. Effective champions are willing to meet regularly to assess where you are and to plot to get you where you want to go. 7

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©2011. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ and its affiliates are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers. Prudential, the Prudential logo, and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. 0194166-00001-00 Ed. 1/2011

ASKING FOR A RAISE Asking IN forTHIS a Raise Right ECONOMY? YEAH, RIGHT! With millions of Americans going on months or years without work while entire industries have been downsized, is this really anytime to ask for a raise? Yes and no. Obviously if your employer has a hiring freeze in place, continues to lay off staff or is mandating furloughs, those are clear signs that times remain tough and that all hands may be lucky to have a deck to stand on. As such, asking for a raise can make you look hopelessly out of touch—never a good thing for any worker. Yet managers are increasingly concerned about turnover. Many employees feel they were mistreated during the downturn and are looking around. The specter of sorting through thousands of resumes–with a cost of replacing someone ranging from $5,000 to $18,000 depending on the industry and position— is not something employers care to face. That may leave you in a better bargaining position than you think when it comes to squeezing a few more dollars from your boss. Besides, talking about compensation—instead of just sucking it up and keeping mum—is a conversation that every employee should have from time to time to maintain career momentum. There’s never any harm in asking for a raise when you can confidently argue

that you’re worth it—and can clearly explain how your boss has benefited. This isn’t personal. It’s not about paying your rent or having money to buy more clothes. You must present a business case, not a personal plea. Make a list of specific accomplishments that helped your company such as increasing sales, coming in under budget, retaining key clients, improving systems and delivering assignments ahead of time. Compare your salary to others in your field using websites such as or You don’t want to ask for $100,000 if your position typically pays $40,000. But if the industry norm is $50,000 and you’re making $30,000, you might have a good chance of getting a bump if you’re a strong asset. Unless you are doing more than what’s expected of you, don’t bother asking for a raise. You’re already being paid to do a good job; what makes you worthy of a raise is that you’ve taken on additional responsibilities and delivered great results while still exceeding your core duties. If you’re not successful on your first attempt, ask what specifically you might do or what must happen to get an increase in pay. Put it in writing and revisit the plan often. 9


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BE DISCREET., a free online career site where anyone can find and anonymously share information about companies, recently asked readers how soon they’d look for a new job if the economy strengthened. A whopping 60 percent said they’d need only a slight improvement to jump in the next year. If you’re itching for a change, adopt a stealth job search strategy right now. This is a discreet operation and you will want to keep it that way. Don’t look for work at work. Doing so on someone else’s dime borders on unethical, possible grounds for firing and is a turn-off to a potential employer who might notice, for example, that you mailed your resume during business hours. Search on your time. Never use your employer-provided email for your search. Give out your cell not office number. Look for work through networking and industry specific channels, not by posting your resume on job sites where your current employer might stumble on it. Beef up your LinkedIn profile. If anyone challenges this, say you’re there for professional networking just as millions of others are. Don’t share openly on facebook or twitter that you are itching to jump ship. You are bound to get busted. Watch what you wear. If your office is casual, but the job you seek is more formal, showing up in a nice suit may raise some eyebrows. 11

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MIND THE GAP BY EUGENIA LIAKARIS Your unemployment benefits have run out. You have no drive left in you to get up in the morning, let alone find the energy to shower. You spend your days in front of the TV—waiting for that magical email or call offering you a job. It never arrives. In today’s stressed economy, gaps on resumes are very common. The key to making those gaps less noticeable is to take a few steps to set yourself apart from others who bear the stigma of being out of work. Start over. One of the dangers of searching for an extended period is that it’s easy to assume you’ve done it all and nothing works. That’s not true; it just hasn’t worked yet. Wipe the slate clean and begin fresh. Rise and shine. Set your alarm as if you were going to work. Eat a healthy breakfast and get into a regular exercise routine. A healthier, happier you will project new confidence. Get out of your home and interact with other people daily. Read the paper. Read newspapers, industry magazines and blogs to stay current. Contact people you read about to congratulate them on coverage or to pitch yourself as an asset. Rethink end goal. Are you going after the best possible position for you? If you had to rethink your approach, is there another role you’d go for instead? It may be time to switch gears.

Get yourself assessed. Find several sets of expert eyes to review your resume. Many libraries and community colleges offer free programs. Have your interview style critiqued too. Think of your resume as secondary. Don’t wait for someone to find it on a job board, or to respond to you after you’ve applied online. They won’t. It’s your mission, through your informational conversations, online branding and networking, to get as many touch points as possible to your application, ideally even before someone reads your resume. Volunteer. Giving your time and talent to a worthy cause boosts your confidence and builds your resume. Connect your charitable work with what you’d like to get paid for. Attend industry events. Job fairs and professional programs allow you to meet people who can get you in the door. Don’t turn down the chance to make new introductions. Memorize your spiel. Everyone will ask what you’ve been up to and these activities provide a response. Your goal is to show that you’re staying active and keeping sharp. Never say: “I’ve been looking for a job for two years. It’s really tough out there.” Always smile. Eugenia Liakaris a career advisor at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in New York. 13

STAFFING YOUR SUCCESS BY GRETCHEN GUNN There are strong opinions when it comes to staffing agencies and they’re not always positive. That’s because staffing agency horror stories abound and they sound something like a disastrous first date: one party—the jobseeker—falls hard. The other—the staffing agent—didn’t.

ing relationship between the employer and the agency before agreeing to be presented for a position. This ensures no surprises at the end of the interview process where the staffing agency hasn’t been properly vetted and therefore cannot be used.

Know what I’m talking about? That big rush of attention where the agency calls and needs you right now, making you feel on top of the world, and then, nothing.

Make sure you have open lines of communication. Every hour wasted pursuing a dead lead translates to a loss of future revenue.

Turns out you actually weren’t a good fit for the position, yet instead of explaining this, the agent never called back or refused to pick up when you called desperate for information. The good news is that not all agencies are like this. There are plenty that value jobseekers as highly as employers. My company recognizes that the hiring process requires three participants: the employer, the staffing partner, and the job seeker. Each plays a uniquely valuable role and all deserve equal consideration and respect.

Only work with agencies that are prompt with their follow up—good or bad. Similarly, if you’re about to accept another offer, let them know. Work with multiple staffing agencies. Not all agencies are equal and not all agencies have the same clients. Be open as to which employers are considering you. Become a valued partner. If you aren’t a perfect fit for a current position, are you for others? Be willing to share the opportunity with others in your network. Good deeds get attention. You will be remembered for future opportunities.

Look for an agency that caters to your specific industry. You are a consumer and you have options. The American Staffing Association offers a searchable database.

Trust your gut. If you don’t like the feel of the relationship that is being fostered with any given agency, you owe it to your career to find another one.

Work with agencies that have sound relationships with their hiring clients. Respectfully inquire about the work-

Gretchen Gunn owns MGD Services, Inc. a New Jersey-based staffing firm. 15

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STAND OUT TO GET THE GIG—AND KEEP IT BY EMILY BENNINGTON If you’re looking to get hired in an economy where there are still six seekers for every job available, you must stand out. Get social and get noticed. I’m amazed at the number of jobseekers who still don’t take advantage of social networking. Every day, there are companies recruiting on these sites, particularly Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’re not engaged in the discussion, you’ll lose opportunities to people who are. Create a list of Top 10 dream employers. Look them up on Twitter and, if they have a presence, follow them, re-tweet them and begin to engage with them. Search each of your companies on LinkedIn and follow their profile. CareerBuilder estimates that half of companies screen candidates online prior to making a hiring decision. Make sure your profiles are complete, project an image of professionalism and clearly state what you’re seeking. Ace the interview. I’ve been in dozens of interviews and frankly most are pretty perfunctory. Typically, the person being interviewed is eager to please, appropriately formal and will probably do just fine. As a recruiter, though, I don’t want fine. I want great. What makes the difference? Research. Companies have put themselves out there so much on the web that there’s really no excuse for not knowing basic information such as core service areas and key players. Also, if you know who will be interviewing you, look them up on LinkedIn and Twitter for some ice-breaker topics such as favorite books or an alma mater.

Follow-up. Most jobseekers send a short email or note with the usual “thank you for meeting me…I look forward to hearing from you” verbiage. It’s better than nothing, but what a wasted opportunity. Assuming you asked great questions during the interview, you should have a clear sense of what the employer wants and how you’re a fit. This is your chance to showcase that by outlining your superior qualifications in a clear, straightforward way. Stand out from the 99.9 percent of candidates who write the standard follow-up note. Keep the job you land. You certainly don’t want to go to all the trouble of finding a great job only to fumble out of the gate. Make sure that others view you as punctual, dependable, likeable, accountable and humble. First impressions are critical when you’re new to a job, so make sure yours are above reproach. Consider sending a quick Friday update to your boss at the end of each week. It’s a short, bulleted email overview of your accomplishments, areas where you need input and goals for the week ahead. These updates don’t take a lot of time, but they keep your boss informed on the status of your work. Emily Bennington is coauthor of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job. She is the founder of Professional Studio 365, which serves new grads and employers. 17



Morrison (left) with her Mompreneur pals

We’re fans of job clubs—groups of six or more jobseekers who meet weekly to help one another plot strategies for finding work. The concept works just as well in conventional workplace settings or for entrepreneurs to share ideas to help peers succeed. That’s what Cindy W. Morrison, a former TV anchor in Tulsa, Okla., started when she contacted three business owners to form such a group. “I decided to stretch myself as a new entrepreneur by contacting people I didn’t know,” she says. “I’m not sure what they thought when I called out of the blue, but they listened to my idea and seemed to like it.” The result was a group called Mastermind Mompreneurs. Their groundrules: 1. A two-hour time limit no more than once a month. 2. All meetings have an agenda with at least one issue everyone wants to tackle. 3. What happens at the table stays at the table. “No topic is too small to tackle. No topic was too personal. There’s no jealousy,

no rivalry, no tit-for-tat,” Morrison says. “We have nominated each other for local awards, cheered each other at events and will be there at the drop of a hat.” Morrison says her group can easily be copied in just five steps: Time matters. It has to be worth everyone’s time. This is not just a gab session. Don’t pick your friends. Stay away from girlfriends whom you’re already calling for support in other areas of your life. Group members may evolve into close friends, but for starters you want women who’ll give you their unbiased opinion. Hold everyone accountable for showing up at each meeting, offering advice to help their careers grow and bringing relevant topics to the table. Don’t commit if you can’t be accountable. Keep it small. The group works best when there are four to six women. More will lose focus and less will not allow for enough varying opinions. Get out if it’s not working. You are all in it for the same reasons: to grow your careers. If you don’t feel connected, drop out. 19

+ Better. Together.


When the right person finds the right career opportunity, magic happens. Your dream job is waiting for you. A career at Capital One® offers: ) Outstanding benefits ) Flexibility to manage your work and life ) Innovative, collaborative culture To learn more and apply, please visit When applying online, select “Magazine” and “Women for Hire” as the source.

We are an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace. We promote a drug-free work environment. If you require an accommodation to apply for a U.S. employment opportunity, please contact Recruiting at 1-800-304-9102.


Look what we’re doing with our Spark & Hustle conferences for current and aspiring entrepreneurs. The 200 women who attended our first event in Atlanta last summer are solely responsible for our 2011 national tour that runs through July. How? They talked about Spark & Hustle a lot–and they continue to talk about it just about every day. They talk about our philosophies and their experiences on blogs, Facebook and Twitter and in their speeches. They talk to their family, friends, colleagues and just about everyone else. Those people listened, checked us out and asked, “How can I get involved?” The gabbing from our very own peanut gallery led us to take Spark & Hustle from an idea to a full-fledged business. And you can create the same demand for you and your services by developing your peanut gallery. Your champions are the folks who will influence others to talk about you and what you’re up to. Yet too often we aim to get noticed by someone who’s unreachable. We think we need the corporate CEO to recog-

nize us or we invest all of our time trying to figure out how to get Oprah to say our name. That’s the wrong approach. My peanut gallery is filled with women who benefit from my programs–women who attend my events, follow me online or even read this magazine–and then tell their friends about why they like me or how one of my businesses has helped them. That kind of influence is just as powerful as Oprah’s. More importantly, that’s the kind of influence that you have the ability to cultivate right now. After sharing my theory on a recent coaching call, I got this email from one listener: “I have a small chocolate business that is starting to take off. I daydreamed of getting just one piece of chocolate into a celebrity’s hands, but after your call it really hit home that I don’t need to do that. I have enough people who already know me and love my chocolate and I just need to reach out to them and have them promote me to everyone they know.” Score! That’s the kind of chatter and influence I’m talking about. Make your list and get your gang talking about you. 21

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THINK 80/20 FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS BY TORY JOHNSON I started Women For Hire with a dial-up connection and an AOL email address. It was 1999, but it could’ve been 1899. I had no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, so I can only imagine how much faster my company would have grown if I had the power of social media behind me from the beginning. Today, whether you’re on the employment track or the entrepreneurial path, the power of social media is at your fingertips as long as you have a strategic goal. I’m online to encourage jobseekers to attend Women For Hire expos and to generate registrations for Spark & Hustle conferences for current and aspiring entrepreneurs. Notice I didn’t say anything about reconnecting with high school classmates, making new friends or other things we typically associate with online networking. I’m there for business. But if all I did online was say attend this, register now or buy that, you can be sure that my fans and followers would flee fast. To meet my goals, I must give to get, which I do happily and with total transparency—a social media must. I give in a variety of ways: I answer jobseeker questions, help small busi-

ness owners with their challenges and share information that both groups find interesting. I also celebrate and promote my clients, solicit feedback for story ideas for TV segments and offer relevant tidbits about my life. That’s where my 80/20 rule comes in: 80 percent of my activity is all about serving other people, while just 20 percent is directly selling and promoting business. Because of that, I’ve attracted a receptive audience. First, determine your strategic goal, whether it’s finding a job or building your personal brand. Maybe you want to secure more clients or sell your products and services. Second, what do you want to be known for? This is important in person and in cyberspace because there is so little time to capture attention and convince someone to want to learn more. Are you the electrical engineer who makes the complicated simple? A career coach who helps women make their 50s fabulous? A jewelry designer known for radiant rubies? Everything you do online should support and enhance that personal brand. continued on page 25 23

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80 Third, how will you measure success? While you may be tempted to say your goal is to use social networks to generate $50,000 in business, what must happen online in order to achieve that end result?

Make a list of people you want to get to know, the 50 companies you’d want to work for and the rock stars in your field. Then, use the simple search functions to find, follow, friend and connect with these people

Perhaps you’ll use Facebook and Twitter as a forum for fielding customer questions or as a means to build awareness of your product or service. Maybe it’s about using the online networks for research and focus groups.

(By the way, while you’re at it, I hope you’ll take a moment to connect with me at and

In other cases, the ultimate success may be best defined as landing an interview and securing a job offer. It doesn’t make sense to start until you know how you’ll define success so you’ll be able to develop and execute the right strategy to make it happen.

It’s useless to have thousands of random contacts with no real connection to you. Similarly, it’s just as weak to speak only to a very small handful of people. Think quality and quantity. Now determine what exactly you’ll share.

Finally, dive in and do it. In this ongoing phase, it’s about connections and content. Start with people you know: friends, family, school contacts, co-workers, former colleagues, clients, customers and neighbors.

If you’re stuck on this, visit to download my list of 50 ideas for stuff to share online. The benefits of the online networks as a platform to grow your career are yours to grab, so go for it. 25



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© 2010 Bank of the West. Bank of the West and its subsidiaries are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers. M/F/D/V

TURNING A MESS INTO MESSAGE A BOOK INTO A BUSINESS BY CINDY W. MORRISON When Girlfriends 2.0 came out, I had no money to promote it, so I used social media to create demand. I did 32 book signings in a month, selling more copies in that period than most first-time authors ever sell. I appeared successful, but the truth was I was exhausted and broke. So I took the BFF idea of a step further and began to search out BBFs (business best friends). Through Twitter, I connected with Tory Johnson and spoke last summer at Spark & Hustle. It was there that I realized I needed to hustle in a way that would make money. Some tips:

Just 18 months ago, I heard the words, “We can’t afford to renew your contract.” I was devastated because I didn’t think I knew how to do anything except to be a TV news anchor. I couldn’t imagine life without corporate America depositing a check into my account every two weeks. Fast forward to today: I run my social media consulting business and I control my own destiny, not some dude in a suit. I turned my mess of a layoff into a message. Writing my book was great therapy and I was able to help others reinvent themselves. It was empowering to admit the scarlet “L” of my layoff and encourage others to surround themselves with people who will help no matter what life throws in their way.

Create revenue streams. I had a successful book, but that and speaking engagements weren’t enough to pay the bills. I added other ways to make money such as consulting on social media strategy, commercial work and teaching people how to self-publish. It’s OK to make money. When you go out on your own you have to believe deep down that the service you are providing is worth money. What a relief it was to figure out it’s perfectly acceptable to leverage my knowledge and make a profit. Do it now. Adopting a sense of urgency is an important business tool. You can’t sit around and wait for the “right time” because that time may never feel right. Cindy W. Morrison teaches social media and speaks frequently about career reinvention. 29




your career


Work shouldn’t be something that you do just to make ends meet; it should provide satisfaction and an opportunity to make a difference. A career at MetLife allows you to positively impact people’s lives by helping them build financial freedom and security for the “ifs” in life—all while offering the work-life balance today’s professionals strive to achieve. Want to love your career? For more information about a career as a financial advisor, visit our website at MetLife is proud to have been chosen as one of the 2010 Working Mother Best Companies— for the 12th consecutive year.

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OUT-HUSTLE INSTEAD OF OUT-SPEND BY MICHELLE PIPPIN I’ll never forget the day my last paycheck arrived. It was only a partial check, sent after I quit my job to realize my dream of being a fulltime mom. Of course, dreams are one thing and reality is quite different. My reality was this: My public school teacher husband and I had $213 in savings and I had to immediately replace my previous income fast if we wanted to keep our lights on and a roof over our head. I instantly discovered a simple, no-cashrequired truth: your business income and success come down to hustle, not budget. When you can’t outspend your competitors, you can always out-serve them, out-think them and out-hustle them. Start with people you know. I sent out 100 printed letters to people who knew my name to announce my commitment to working from home. I gave a few suggestions of the work I could do well and encouraged readers to refer friends or family who I could help. But I would have been homeless if I stopped there. I also followed up by phone to apply my skills and abilities to their world and circle of influence. Be your own publicist. I decided to launch my coaching business with a free

public workshop, and concluded that the local newspapers would help me reach my prospective clients. I researched press release templates online, created my own and sent it out. I got no response. In a fit of desperation, and perhaps even a bit of indignity, I started calling editors. I wanted to know why this information wasn‘t being published. What I discovered was how completely ineffective blanket press releases are, and that almost all media exposure is secured via personal connection, conversation or relationship. So, while it’s a good idea to have a press release template, tweak it for every outlet you pursue. Then call to follow up. Ask for the sale. Too many business owners remain pregnant with potential without giving birth to profit because they allow interested potential clients to walk away without asking for the sale. Create a sales script that is authentic for you, so that when people compliment your product or acknowledge a need for your services you are ready to cultivate that interest into cash.

Michelle Pippin is a small business coach. 31

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It is the policy of RBS Citizens, N.A. to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all colleagues and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, veteran or military status, marital or domestic partner status, or any other factor protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

NO RICH UNCLE? NO PROBLEM BY JED COHEN Imagine raising small amounts of money from lots of people instead of fretting over an inability to secure funding from a single source. Crowdfunding may be the answer to gather support for entrepreneurial endeavors. With modern social networking, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more connected to our extended network of supporters than ever before. Crowdfunding platforms can offer the credibility and infrastructure necessary to harness the financial power of the crowd, but because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a new thing, many people misunderstand how to effectively leverage the tools available. When undertaking a crowdfunding project, avoid two common pitfalls: s 3ETTING AN UNREALISTIC FUNDRAISING GOAL â&#x20AC;&#x153;Internet angelsâ&#x20AC;? (wealthy strangers trolling the internet looking to give away large sums of money) are the exception, not the rule. s 5NDERESTIMATING THE IMPORTANCE OF MARketing your project: The assumption that â&#x20AC;&#x153;If You Build It, They Will Comeâ&#x20AC;? (simply posting to a crowdfunding platform and expecting contributions) is a conviction best left to Kevin Costner movies. Focus on five steps to make your fundraising campaign a success: Create a great project. Make sure your project is worthy of other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention. Why is your project important?

If your answer is powerful enough, it will resonate with others. Build a team. Success requires help from your friends, family and wider network. Make a list of your teammates, including direct collaborators, high impact financial contributors and broadcasters (press contacts and social leaders) who can spread your project to wider circles. Prime the pump. No one wants to be first on the dance floorâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equally true in junior high and crowdfunding. Your first wave of contributions will demonstrate that your project has the momentum necessary to reach your fundraising goal. Before your project goes live, ask close friends to contribute early. Spiral outward. After securing your first wave of contributions, reach out to wider circles of friends. Thank supporters publicly via social media and celebrate the milestones you pass. Keep your connections talking about your progress and encourage them to spread the news through their networks. Meet the press. Once your project has momentum, follow up with broadcasters. With the social proof of your networkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support, your project is ready to meet a larger audience. Jed Cohen is co-founder of RocketHub. com, a crowdfunding platform. Also explore and www. 33


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EYE-POPPING SUCCESS! How your shop or product looks can be as important as the service you provide. On a recent trip to Los Angeles we found two businesses that really stood out.

Healthy Spot Healthy Spot, an upscale pet store a few blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, features a floor-to-ceiling window to the daycare section that allows clients and passersby to see how dogs are being treated. From our vantage point, the answer was quite well. It’s the brainchild of two dog lovers Andrew Kim, who worked at a hedge fund, and Mark Boonnark, a former advertising executive. The daycare caters to small dogs, most of whose owners are women, and the window “is the jewel of the store,” Kim says. “It literally stops traffic,” he says. “We wanted to have a daycare enclosed in glass because the transparency of our facility gives owners a strong sense of trust. Everyone can see what is going on. Healthy Spot’s version of the traditional dog in the window is our trademark.” 35

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Polkatots Cupcakes Since cupcake businesses are a dime a dozen, you must standout to succeed, says Alma Tarriba, who in 2008 founded Polkatots Cupcakes in Pasadena with Melany Petrosian. Their answer: cupcake cakes—cupcakes iced together to make a giant cake. That set them apart and created a new niche. But before they even dreamed about opening the business, the women paid their dues by attending culinary school and becoming chefs where presentation and taste have always been equally important. It paid off, Tarriba says, because a common reaction to their cupcakes is, “Wow, they are so pretty, I don’t want to eat them.” Planning the right “look” of their storefront was key. With no money to hire a decorator, they designed a spotless, playful store with pink walls and glass candy jars on bookshelves. “Everything we do reflects who we are,” Petrosian says. 37

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SWEET SHELF SUCCESS Meet the buyer. Buyers are overwhelmed by sales reps introducing products, so be creative to stand out from other samples being offered. There is something unique about walking in as a small business owner and dropping off product personally. I recommend hand-delivering samples and following up within 10 days. Find packaging. Search the web for packaging ideas. Walk store aisles to see what others are using. If you find something that would work, check the packaging for the manufacturer and contact them directly. A belief that everything is possible helped Vivian Tenorio overcome challenges as a teen mom and high school dropout. Then in 2009, worried that her software installation job might be in jeopardy because of the shaky economy, Tenorio had an idea to sell her familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artisan flan. She whipped up a batch and delivered samples to a buyer at Whole Foods. Within 24 hours, the company placed an order and Signature Flan is now in more than 165 gourmet markets. This no-limits attitude inspired a book to be published this year. We asked Tenorio for a preview. Test your product. Find a laboratory accredited by the International Organization for Standardization that can provide shelf-life studies and nutritional labeling. Most will require samples of your product, but some allow you to provide your recipe to determine nutritional value.

Create bar codes. Each product requires its own barcode. This is not an area that you want to shortcut. If you hope to put your product on the shelves of any big chains, make sure you purchase uniform product codes for your company. For information in barcodes, go to Create samples. Talk to customers and build buzz. Why? So customers ask for your product to be on shelves for them to take off those shelves. Talk up your experience to anyone who will listen by using social media to create buzz and get attention. I used this method at the Atlanta Spark & Hustle conference last summer. After the event, my new Facebook and Twitter followers raved about my product. Retailers took note: within a few months Signature Flan was rolled out to an additional five statesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;largely thanks to women from those areas who said they loved it. 39

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A career in the military and nursing certainly isn’t the most logical beginning for a professional organizing business, but that’s how Amy Volk of Simplified Living began. While she had a natural penchant for organizing spaces, she lacked the sales and marketing training that the success of her business would ultimately depend on. Green, and without a specific plan of action, she began networking, serving people and learning a lot about her industry. Volk learned that one of the greatest drains on her time was the intake consultation for a potential new client. After driving to their home or office and revealing the general plan she would use to organize their space, she found herself waiting far too long for them to get back to her, which many times they never did. This couldn’t continue. One of the first really profitable changes she made involved her pricing. Volk decided to buck industry trends and begin charging for her initial consultation. This not only increased her bottom line, but it allowed Volk to only spend time with serious potential clients. Another leap in income came when she began appearing on her local morning news program, giving biweekly advice on organizing. With this regular exposure, Volk quickly became the go-to expert for organizing in her area. 41

Agile minds ask more questions

In an ever-evolving world, a variety of perspectives are more useful than just one. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we depend on agile minds to ask the extra question, think the extra thought, and go beyond the obvious. If that sounds like you, your unique talents could go a long way at Deutsche Bank. See more at



Elaine Zelker. a mother of three in Easton, Pa., works as a registered nurse. She’s good at what she does, but can’t afford to lose her steady income and benefits, even though her real passion is photography, which she wants to do fulltime. To draw attention to her work, Zelker dreamed of a gallery exhibition showcasing her series of elderly hand portraits, yet such an undertaking costs money for printing, framing and promotion. So she turned to crowdfunding to raise the cash. Instead of looking for a single financier such as a bank loan or investor, crowdfunding enabled her to reach out to a large group of people through social media to contribute smaller amounts. Zelker used, one of several sites that offer all the tools to create a campaign to raise money. She spread the word about her business idea on Twitter, Facebook and via e-mail and raised $2,600 to launch her exhibition.

Mother-daughter team Donna and Lauren Johanson run Chivas Skincare on their goat farm in Fillmore, Calif. They make soap from goat’s milk and sell their wares online and at farmer’s markets and holiday bazaars. With a cash-only business, customers don’t buy as much as they do when they can pay with plastic. So they began using Square, a small attachment to a mobile phone that allows them to swipe credit cards to accept payments on the go. The Johanson’s say business has increased by 15 percent. The device is free, with no set-up, cancellation or monthly fees. Square takes a flat fee of 2.75 percent on every sale. 43

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FRANCHISING Adrienne Kallweit and Shannon Wilburn are two Tulsa moms whose businesses became so successful that they turned them into national franchise operations. Kallweit, a licensed private investigator, founded SeekingSitters ( an on-demand babysitting referral service, on a hunch that parents needed sitters who’ve been thoroughly screened. SeekingSitters now has 54 franchisees. Wilburn co-founded Just Between Friends ( a kids, teens and maternity consignment sales business, with the simple hope of making a little extra money and clothing her kids, too. Now, JBF boasts more than 100 franchisees across the nation. We asked for primer on franchising. What is a franchise? Franchising is a right granted by a company to a person or a group to market its products or services in a specific territory. It’s also an awesome road for someone who wants to work for themselves, but not by themselves, say Wilburn and Kallweit. What’s the difference between a franchisor and a franchisee? The company offering the franchise is the franchisor. The person investing in the license is the franchisee, says Wilburn. “As a franchisee, it’s critical to be able to follow a proven process, one that the franchisor has designed for you, for your

benefit. Don’t recreate the wheel. The steps should be there for you to follow.” What are the pros and cons of being a franchisee? You gain the skills to become your own boss and run a business while getting the tools to effectively operate an already proven successful system, says Kallweit. “You can get creative, but as a franchisee you must follow certain guidelines as related to the brand and its systems. Another benefit is that your franchise is an investment: franchises are often more valuable than individually-owned businesses.” If a business is growing, how do I know if franchising is an option? You must be able to duplicate your Adrienne Kallweit current success and want to teach it to others, says Wilburn. “Are you willing to give up the business you love so that others can succeed? Training, compliance, promotion, working with attorneys, keeping ahead of your competitors – while making sure your franchisees are profitable—will be your new world.” continued on page 47 45

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Just Between Friends megasale What are the pros and cons of becoming a franchisor? Franchising your business allows you to grow nationally rapidly and with less capital, says Kallweit. “But during the start-up phase, developing systems, manuals, forms and other documents is time-consuming and costly. You’ve then got to make sure that your franchise system runs smoothly, and that franchisee’s needs are met, which takes research and development.” Do all franchises work the same way or are there different models? There are more than 2,000 franchised concepts, but most models are similar, says Wilburn. “Most franchisors charge a franchise fee, typically between $15,000 and $40,000, and royalties. Franchisees pay franchisors a percentage of their gross revenue, which usually ranges from five to 10 percent. Good franchisors offer a range of services from operations manuals and online or regional training to support staff and site selection help.” If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently? Kallweit’s franchise system has grown to 54 locations in 23 states across the nation in under 5 years. “We would never have

seen this growth if we hadn’t expanded through franchising,” she says. “We have definitely learned better operation techniques through the years, but I don’t look at failures or challenges as negatives. These moments often teach us about the strengths of our business and about ourselves.” What type of entrepreneur makes a good franchisee? Kallweit says people with sales have worked well with her “but we have teachers and stay-at-homemoms who are rockin’ their business. A franchise system can provide the spark and continual ideas for the business. But to succeed, it’s up to the franchisee to provide the hustle.” Where can I learn more about franchising? Visit for the most valuable and comprehensive information, Kallweit says. A franchisee broker such as The Entrepreneur Source ( can also guide you to a franchise system that might work for you. Contact Kallweit at www.seekingsitters. com and Wilburn at to inquire about purchasing a franchise in either of their systems. 47


FROM BLOG TO BUSINESS BY SARAH ROWE Blogging has revolutionized business by bringing back the connection between owner and customer. Not only can you use blogging to build relationships, but you can also use it to build a business. Find a niche and declare yourself an expert. I found myself in a financial crisis. Out of necessity, I began using coupons to save money. I got so passionate that friends and family started turning to me to help with their finances. I created, which teaches users how to save up to 80 percent on monthly bills. Readers responded and asked me to teach workshops. I also published a book, The Power of Coupons: 13 Ways to Save. The media recognizes me as a money-saving expert and I host a daily segment on local news and write a monthly column in a magazine. Use your blog as a marketing vehicle to promote your product or service. My website has a loyal audience of consumers focused on saving money. The blog is ideal to promote my merchandise. Create personal relationships with customers. Blogging allows me to connect with readers by sharing my struggles. For example, my husband was laid off and readers experienced this financial

crisis with me. It created a connection so readers knew I was not only a source of information, but I was also a friend. I encourage readers to post their stories of getting out of debt, comment on articles, submit stories and share advice. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube allow me to continue the conversation on multiple platforms. Create multiple revenue streams. A blog is a virtual storefront where I can offer products and services with no overhead. My revenue streams include banner advertising, integrated content and affiliate marketing programs paid by advertisers; speaking engagements paid by corporations and meeting planners; merchandise and workshops paid by users; and syndicated content paid by media outlets. Blogs do not cost any money to start. Launch using or and follow easy online tutorials. Promote your blog by creating a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, RSS feed and e-newsletter. Partner with bloggers who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t competitors, but who are going after the same audience. Exchange banner ads, buttons or links. The key to a successful blog is not just starting one. The key is maintaining it by engaging your audience with relevant information. As they learn to trust you, they will look to you as the expert in your area. Not only does this mean an increase in business, it also means an increase in loyal, devoted customers. 49








STUFF TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Are You Ready to Spark & Hustle with Us? Let’s work together for three days to build your small business dreams. Los Angeles: February 3-5 Tulsa: February 10-12 New York: March 10-12 Dallas: March 24-26 Chicago: April 7-9 Boston: May 12-14 Orlando: May 19-21 Atlanta: July 21-23 Full conference agenda and speakers, plus videos and photos from previous events, can be found at JOIN US AT A WOMEN FOR HIRE CAREER EXPO TO LAUNCH OR ADVANCE YOUR CAREER. New York: March 31 Chicago: April 6 Dallas: April 12 Atlanta: April 14 Washington DC: April 20 Details at TALK TO TORY JOHNSON Get involved with us online for inspiration, resources, news, feedback and fun. LinkedIn group: Tory Johnson

TIME WITH TORY JOHNSON We know that women advance the quickest with access to a business leader (not just a coach) whose success they want to emulate. The Spark & Hustle Profit Partner Program delivers that and more because it’s customized just for you. Led by Tory Johnson, it provides access to insider business knowledge and practices, plus intensive one-on-one sessions designed to leapfrog your business success. By visiting often with Tory by email, Skype, phone and in person, you’ll see first-hand how she’s built her multimillion-dollar company while she helps you to achieve your desired success. Combine fast, direct feedback on what you’re doing with the support needed to make gains in exposure, income and influence. Nothing is off limits. Email for details. 51 51

Your potential will


At Freddie Mac, you’ll have a rewarding career as you play a role in helping the nation recover from the housing and economic crisis, and implementing the President’s Making Home Affordable program. A vital component in the secondary mortgage market, Freddie Mac has made homeownership and rental housing more accessible and more affordable for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

Audit | Compliance | Single-Family Portfolio Management | IT When you join the Freddie Mac team, you’ll discover an inclusive, empowering culture with an equal opportunity employer who recognizes the value of diversity. You’ll also find a total rewards package that supports your success both at work and in your personal life. We encourage you to visit us at upcoming diversity conferences, which are listed on our career site. Visit us online at: 52

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Work on your own without being alone With support for your efforts every step of the way, you’ll build your own business centered on helping others. You’ll build relationships with our members by helping them achieve financial security. For more information, to apply or to make a referral, visit 26218 N11-10

Women For Hire 2011 Magazine  
Women For Hire 2011 Magazine  

Women For Hire 2011 Magazine