Women as Entrepreneurs – Sharing Inspiration and Lessons

Last night I had the honor of speaking on a panel to a group of women for Girls in Tech’sWomen as Entrepreneurs, Women as Leaders” event at Babson College. The discussion focused on leadership lessons and advice from – and for – women entrepreneurs in today’s technology and business communities. My co-panelists, Amy Cueva, Founder & Chief Experience Officer of Mad*Pow, Heather Margolis, Founder & President of Channel Maven Consulting, and Lynn Andres Stein of Olin College, were inspiring and thoughtful. They shared many tips with the audience based on various years of entrepreneurship – from nine months up to nearly 20 years. Some of my favorite tips, lessons and observations included:

  • Don’t be afraid to be different – entrepreneurs are the core of innovation by thinking differently
  • Women tend to be more emotional leaders – an attribute that can be both helpful and a hindrance
  • Take time for yourself on a personal level – a personal life makes you a better business leader and a happier person all around
  • Leaders make tough decisions every day (the right choices, not the popular ones) – you’ll never have everyone’s approval so stop waiting for it and trust your instincts
  • Be definitive and decisive – know your values and stick to them
  • Women are often their own worst enemies – support each other and our choices to work, to not work; to have a family or not. Only we can force the change we seek in respect for our gender’s choices.

What tough lessons have you learned that you’d share with other women considering the leap to entrepreneurship?

In addition, the audience was chock full of inspiring women. Two of my favorite were these brilliant ladies from Leotus Home Cooling. Katherine Harty, President and Beeni Mathew, VP, have created an innovative home cooling system with a few team members that is “the first effortless air conditioner — providing the comfort you want, without the compromises.” The design is sleek, innovative and sure to be a smash success. I’m sure these ladies will have many lessons of their own to share with future entrepreneurs. If you’d like to support their efforts today, be sure to vote for them in ideablob’s October sprint, where the participant receiving the most votes will win $10,000 from ideablob to further their business idea. (Although, unfortunately, I think requiring registration to vote is hindering the process.)

A special thanks to Kate Brodock of Boston Girls in Tech for asking me to participate.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 10/05/09

What Do Clients Want Now? Six Top Companies from Tech to Travel Reveal the Biggest Opportunities for PR Firm Work in 2010
Brian Pittman from The Bulldog Reporter contributed this guest post to The Firm Voice, sharing perspectives from 6 top company execs including what they are now looking from their agencies in the upcoming year.

Rubbermaid Social Media Effort Thinks Inside the Container
Douglas Quenqua provides an interesting overview of Rubbermaid’s recent social marketing campaign that was the company’s first experience with “paid” social media.

The tacky techie conundrum
Seth Godin offers food for thought for marketers launching new technologies, hoping to gain the acceptance from the “top-right” demographic.

Integrating Social Into Traditional: 10 Tips For A Remarkable Blogger Event
Christine Whittemore provides some practical advice of what to do and not do when planning a launching for your own blogger-centric event.

It’s people not tools that matter
While its easy to be drawn towards all the fancy free tools for social media and PR measurement that keep popping up each month, KD Paine reminds us that only real human beings can help provide proper measurement in areas like reputation, relationships, brand health and brand strength.

A Busy Week for Marketing and PR

This week we’re busy merging our online and offline worlds with other marketers and business executives at two key events. We kicked off Wednesday at Boston’s Internet Marketing Summit with a fun and interactive booth – check out the activity on our Whrrl story – where we helped the crowd connect with their “inner social media guru.” We also took away invaluable tips, tricks and lessons from the numerous panels. You can catch a lot of those tidbits by following the aggregated Twitter feed on our #IMS09 landing page (where the “inner social media guru photos are featured) or on Twitter.

Today I have the pleasure of attending (and speaking at) Open View Venture Partners Content Marketing Workshop. It’s only 10 a.m. and I’ve already learned plenty of new tips for great marketing, digital content and promotion. Being in a room with a group of energetic, eager and smart entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to spend the day. I look forward to applying some of these lessons for both PerkettPR and our clients in the future. And, while right now I need to pay attention and take notes, I’ll look to share some of the best tidbits from this event – and IMS – through our social networks (here, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). If you have any specific questions that you’d like us to raise while we’re here, drop us a line!

What are your biggest marketing challenges?

Quick Business Lessons from The Amazing Race

I hesitate to admit at all on this blog that I actually have any time to watch TV, but nonetheless… while watching CBS’ The Amazing Race on Sunday evening, I noticed some interesting dynamics of the teams that could apply to business and how you work with your agency partners. Most specifically, how you treat your agency partners and whether or not your management style is helping you to get the most out of such an integral investment. Let’s take a look at some of the team dynamics at play:

The “you can do it” partner – encouraging and supportive, yet from a distance – not getting involved but cheerleading all the way.

The “blame” partner - when anything goes wrong, despite knowing that you played a roll in the outcome, you blame the other party.

The “all for one” partner – truly working with your team members to share information, provide  positive feedback and encouragement, and sharing in both the accomplishments and the challenges.

Herbert Lang and Nathaniel Lofton - Harlem Globetrotters - came in first last night through supportive team work and cooperation

Herbert Lang and Nathaniel Lofton - Harlem Globetrotters - came in first Monday night through supportive team work and cooperation. Definitely "all for one" partners!

The leader/other half to a “yes man” partner – i.e., you provide all of the guidance and direction and your teammate just follows along.

The “naysayer partner” - any suggestion provided by your team members is met with instant doubt or a flat out “no.”

Each of these types of partnerships are on display on this show – and we’ll find out in the end which method ultimately equals winners. It may seem obvious why one works better over another – but if you don’t stop and think about what kind of partner you are, and what kind of partner your agency vendors are, you could be wasting valuable time and money. Partnerships work best when they consist of mutual respect, trust and a sense of camaraderie – i.e., we’re all here working towards a mutual goal. After all, you’ve put the work into researching and choosing the best agency partner (you did put that work in, right?!), so trust them, involve them and respect them. If you don’t, you might want to consider a new teammate.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 09/28/09

Google Wave Hits Shore. Flash Flood Warning In Effect.
This week marked the first round of invites to Google Wave. Just 100,000 invites have been handed out so far – making the topic a top-trend in no time flat. This post from Louis Gray gives a good run-down of his first impressions.

He Said, She Said: Google Sidewiki
We’ll continue with the Google theme with this post from Beth Harte on MPDailyFix, featuring the lesser-hyped Google Sidewiki. Businesses and web site owners should note the paragraph on “claiming your site.”

Social Media Tools that Save Lives
Arnold Zafra from the RotorBlog share some interesting examples of how social media tools have been used to save lives in the wake of recent disasters around the globe.

5 Twitter Tips for Staying Authentic and Transparent
Michelle Bowles shares some tips for adding to your success on Twitter, but these straight forward and useful gems can (and should) be applied to your activity on all social networking platforms that are integrated into your overall social marketing strategy.

Five sure-fire ways to fail at social marketing
Helen Leggatt provides five tips on avoiding failure when you are preparing to take your first dip into social marketing waters.