“be willing to learn from every experience, every decision and every seeming failure.”
How long have you been an Entrepreneur?
Did you leave a job to become an Entrepreneur?
What is the name of your current project / company?
PWIConnections Global Prominence
Please describe for us in 1 sentence your current project.
As Chief Business Development Officer, PWIConnections – a humanitarian organization, I am working to build collaborative efforts worldwide.
Where did the idea of your current project come from?
Valeri Bocage, CEO of Powerful Women International Connections, and I have been operating on parallel paths for many years. My mission to empower many is in alignment with her vision to improve the lives of women and children worldwide. Membership requires each female leader to be working on a project that improves the lives of others e.g. helping burn survivors return to normality, and another is teaching honeybee farming to women in a remote area of Africa. Each interaction with these women is highly inspiring proving over and over again; it’s the right project for me to contribute.
Why do you do what you do?
My belief is that ‘creative thought carries society forward’ and together change happens more quickly. There is so much focus on violence today that it’s now imperative we change the mood through teaching peaceful living and how to do so independently. Entrepreneurship, business development, sales, and negotiation all tie into endeavors of empowering others. The extra motivating force comes from all of the notes I receive that indicate those people succeeded due to sharing my best insights through my writing and speaking effort.
What’s the one thing you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
You will come out stronger from all the difficulties encountered and lessons learned; not to worry about not fitting in because you will become seen as a leader once your confidence builds.
What’s the most important piece of advice would you give to someone just starting?
Everyone has a starting point; be willing to learn from every experience, every decision and every seeming failure. These are the best teachers for excelling in life.
What is the hardest thing you have had to do regarding your business?
I was always made to feel second-rate at best. The top advice was to establish credibility for my business and to do so by writing a book. My phone wasn’t ringing so I had nothing to lose. In my manuscript, I revealed all the hardships encountered in my sales career and how I overcame them. The vulnerability revealed had my book become an international best-seller, it was featured in TIME Magazine and on CBS-TV News; 11 years old, men read and tweet about the book today: Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results.
What does your typical day look like?
I’m old-fashioned enough to read the morning paper as I consider how the news is affecting business. Everyday conversations and experiences usually highlight stories for my blog. I’m dedicated to collaborative efforts on Twitter, LinkedIn and via an online sales group to which I belong. And I’m always on the lookout for appropriate introductions to PWIC. Evenings and weekends are set aside for my family.
If you were to start again, and could change one thing, what would it be?
I would strive to find early on what inspires me and the good work that may be accomplished.
What is the most important thing in life?
The most important thing is to appreciate life, the beauty of nature, and if you are lucky enough – your family. Because of my experience with a broken neck, I realize to the fullest extent that life is a gift.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I faced ridicule predominantly from the men, but I apparently scared women too. Part 1 was to ignore the nasty comments and mentally say, “just watch me do it!” Part 2 is it became a lesson as to who my real friends are; we are a brain trust encouraging one another move forward. Today, people treat me as if I made it to the C-Suite. The long journey makes me smile!
Tell us something unique about yourself.
Growing up, I never spent my allowance. By the time I was a teenager and not part of the “in-group,” I used my savings to travel. Initially, the travel was across the country. My sojourns progressed to many places in the world and inspired me to study anthropology in college. All of these experiences proved to be perfect training for succeeding in business.