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    0 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2008 2:00 PM by rontowns25

    Do Women Hold and Advantage in Business?

    rontowns25 Adventurer
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      In 1988, Linda Hollander was anything but wealthy. "Worse than broke" is how
      she puts it. She was deep in debt, working at a dead-end job with people she
      didn't like, and "always getting off at the jerk exit" of a highway filled with
      abusive men. Her self-esteem was so low that she believed she was only getting
      what she deserved. Fortunately, she had an epiphany and decided to make her
      life count for something.

      With no formal business training, Linda and her lifelong best friend started
      a successful packaging company called the Bag Ladies. Linda also started the
      Women's Small Business Expo in Los
      Angeles and wrote the #1 Amazon best seller Bags to
      Riches: 7 Success Secrets for Women in Business. On our call, she shared the
      seven secrets of success she used to create her prosperous small business and
      build lifetime wealth.

      1. You've already got what it takes.
      Linda believes the seeds of greatness are already inside you. You were born to
      manifest greatness, live your purpose, and live your mission, she says. If
      something stops you (and it's usually fear), face it head-on. Surround yourself
      with a success team who support your vision.

      Linda also believes that only one thing separates successful people from
      those who merely dream about it: action. Knowledge is not power, she says;
      taking action on knowledge is power. If you want to be successful, start with
      an idea, get knowledge, and then take action.

      2. Your business is a lifetime self-improvement course.
      "School is never out for the pros," Linda believes. If you want to be
      successful, practice lifetime learning. Go through life with the wide-eyed
      innocence of a child who's willing to learn new things. If somebody talks about
      a subject that you know a lot about, don't tune them out. You can always learn
      something new. If you stop learning and growing--if you're not on top of your
      industry--your competitors will fill in the gaps you're missing and take away
      your business.

      As an employee, Linda learned a lot from her bosses--especially the bad
      ones. "My bosses just did not treat people well," she recalls. "I made a vow
      that . . . when I had my small business, I would treat people well, and treat
      them with respect, and really treat them like family." Make your business a
      lifetime self-improvement course for yourself and your employees. To give them
      the best work experience they could ever have, answer their questions, never
      lose your temper, and give them a sterling recommendation when they move on.

      3. A woman's yardstick is different than a man's.
      Linda strongly suggests that you pay attention to the opposite sex, because we
      can all learn from each other.

      Women define success as living on their own terms and reaping internal
      rewards, such as being able to spend time with the family, being able to do
      what they want, and not having to worry about money. Women focus on connection
      and relationships; that's their strength in business. By following their
      example, you can learn to be more nurturing. Hone your business relationships,
      be responsive, give your staff the power to handle complaints immediately, and
      you'll develop lifetime customers.

      Men define success more externally: getting the nice house, the nice car,
      the toys, the gadgets. Men invest in themselves regularly and without apology.
      Follow their lead and attend the high-priced seminars, hire the consultants,
      and do what it takes to raise your skill sets and learn new things.

      4. Wealth only corrupts the corruptible.
      Wealth doesn't corrupt you, it only exposes what you already are. Wealthy
      people who are giving and benevolent were probably generous before they had
      money; now that they have it, they can do even more. Watch out for media
      messages-they'll try to convince you that wealthy people are greedy and
      corrupt, but they rarely report the good things wealth can contribute.

      5. Selling is nurturing.
      Fast-pitched sales presentations and scripts are a thing of the past. Today,
      selling is about asking questions, listening more than you talk, hearing your
      customer's pain, and providing brilliant solutions. If you don't feel
      comfortable as a salesperson, give yourself a different title. Think of
      yourself as a consultant, a nurturer, or a problem solver.

      6. The octopus is mightier than the elephant.
      Most companies do what Linda calls "elephant marketing": a one-pronged approach
      that mainly consists of waiting for the phone to ring and relying on referrals.
      She recommends something quite different. "Octopus marketing," as Linda calls
      it, is an elegant, streamlined, multi-pronged approach. Instead of waiting for
      the phone to ring, try a variety of marketing methods, such as direct mailing,
      e-mail blasts, and placing ads in many different vehicles (directories, the
      Yellow Pages, print, radio, cable TV).

      7. The heart weighs more than the wallet.
      Linda's last success secret may be the most important. She says, "The people in
      your life that you love are not interruptions on your success journey. If you
      have to go to a play for your kid, if your husband or wife wants you to go away
      for the weekend, this is what life's all about. Work is not what life is all
      about. So just remember those people in your life that are your touchstones and
      please don't miss your children growing up. Please don't miss time with your
      friends and your family that you will never get back again."

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