What kind of Entrepreneur are You?

Courtesy of Acton MBA- find out and take the quiz!

Ladies, Speak Up and Get the Corner Office!

Barnard entrepreneurs, its time to speak up! Translation: promote yourself. Thanks Jezzie!

The Harvard Business Review recently elaborated upon research by the international nonprofit Catalyst. They write that men who sought important assignments, and were more active in networking a were more likely to move forward in their careers than men who didn’t. Strangely, this formula for success doesn’t hold for women. Prior research by Catalyst also shows that the gender gap in advancement still exists even if you control for factors like taking time off to care for kids. Christine Silva and Nancy Carter of HBR write, “with these most recent findings, yet another myth is busted: the one that says women fail to pursue their career goals as proactively as men. The truth is that women do, but even when they make use of the same strategies, they still don’t get as far ahead.”

Myth-busting aside, they do provide a solution, writing that “the women who did more to make their achievements known advanced further, were more satisfied with their careers, and had greater compensation growth.” This comes at the cost of eschewing social mores that relegate bragging-rights to men almost exclusively. Earlier posts have considered appealing to our more feminine characteristics- taking Carol Bartz model as a warning: aggressive to get ahead and punished for their aggression. But heres the spoonful of sugar to help the bitter go down: Catalyst’s research shows that, at least for the women they studied, being aggressive in terms of publicizing their own accomplishments had more benefits than risks.

PS PLEASE understand the graphic

-JM

Checkit! Resource Sites for Barnard Entrepreneurs

Over the past three Mondays, 620house has revealed the best blogs and applications for the Barnard Entrepreneur. If these were insufficient incentives, then here is yet another installment of the top online resources to get you informed and motivated!
  1. SBA: The U.S. Small Business Administration is a treasure trove of information for entrepreneurs. In general, the SBA’s focus is helping entrepreneurs create long-lived small businesses, but there are also some great resources for folks further along in the process. If you aren’t in the U.S., there’s still some valuable information on the site — and you may find a similar agency where you’re living.
  2. SCORE: If you find yourself in need of mentoring from an entrepreneur who’s already been through it all, SCORE can help you find a mentor. The organization is an amazing source of free business advice.
  3. Freelancers Union: The Freelancers Union offers a long list of resources for freelancers — and the Union’s definition includes a pretty wide variety of entrepreneurs as freelancers. Among the information you can find on this site is health insurance options that don’t require quite the expense of other non-employer options.
  4. Entrepreneur: For a huge collection of information on starting and running your own business, start with Entrepreneur. The company behind the site also runs Women Entrepreneur — a good resource for women looking at entrepreneurship.
  5. BusinessWeek Small Business: Business Week has been a solid source of business information for years. The magazine’s small business site is an equally solid resource.
  6. About.com Entrepreneurs: About.com offers a regularly updated resource on entrepreneurship. It’s got links to all sorts of other resources, both on About.com and elsewhere on the internet.
  7. Entrepreneurship.org: The Entrepreneurship.org site is run by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to provide global resources for entrepreneurs.

5 Networking Relationships You Need to Make

Networking is a crucial skill for any entrepreneur- and sometimes I can confuse this with accumulating busienss cards that eventually fall under my desk. The key is to make real interactions, meeting people for specific reasons and finding people that will help you and you can help in return, instead of just going to career fairs and shaking hand after hand after meaningless hand. Note: it’s not just a matter of seeking out people who you think can be useful to you, it is also about finding solutions for your own projects and problems. If you have a good idea of who you want to meet — and why — you’ll have a better ROI on every networking event you go to. You can get the introductions out of the way quickly and get down to building a relationshipwith your new contacts. You may even find yourself on the must-meet list of other entrepreneurs when you attend networking opportunities. I wholeheartedly recommend lifehack.org’s suggestions, and here are my elaborations on the list!

  1. Keep Your Enemies Closer: Not so much enemies, keep it friendly folks. If  you’ve already started in your business, seek out those who have similar ideas and get their newsletters, pay attention to their advertising and go one step further — introduce yourself. Bring in their expertise.
  1. MediaKinex: If its newspapers, television, radio, blogs and more, friends that are members of the media that cover your niche will be make getting the story easier, accumulating your own intelligence as well as guaranteeing future promotion. Wouldn’t you want to be the “resident expert” for someone’s publication?
  2. Philanthropy is sexy AND useful: As an entrepreneur, it’s useful to have connections to local non-profits far beyond the tax break you’ll get for any donations you make. You’ll get word of sponsorship and PR opportunities far faster, learn about projects that might help your business along — and you may even have the chance to do something good for your community. A non-profit doesn’t have to be related to your industry, either: if you’re ready to do some good in your community, why not work on an issue you’re passionate about?
  3. Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe: It’s often better to work with a lawyer who isn’t your best friend — but you can know quite a few, and you can keep close tabs on situations that may affect your business.
  4. Local politicians: There isn’t a business in existence that is entirely exempt from local politics. From zoning to licensing, there’s sure to be an area or two in which local politics affects your business. It makes sense to meet the men and women making those decisions: if you do find yourself involved in a political issue, knowing the politicians mixed up in the same issue will at least ensure that your side is heard. Politicians’ influence isn’t the only reason to get involved in local politics, either. Your business is part of the community and that means you probably have some ideas on how your community should operate. Supporting like-minded politicians is a personal decision, but it can have some major ripple effects.

10 Steps of the Healthy Entrepreneur

That’s me my senior year of highschool, before I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug that tends to swarm Barnard ladies.
Just kidding, that’s not me, but seriously: I don’t know about you, but I am happiest, most capable, most motivated in the morning and productivity experts agree. If you are gunning for focused, results-driven accomplishment, then try these after you wake up and before your brain and your body slump over during your 4:10 lecture all the way in Schermerhorn. Here’s my prototypical morning:
  1. Fake-wake-till-you-make-wake. I.e., don’t hit snooze. Get out of bed and immediately throw cold water on your face. Always wakes me up.
  2. Do something immediately: I make coffee every morning, no matter what, and not for the caffeine. Sometimes I don’t even want it, but if I make it, this preliminary ritual, there has to be a post-liminary ritual, ya dig?
  3. Make your bed and open your completely. Let Mr. Golden himself shine in.
  4. Brush your tongue and lose the morning breath to start off on a minty note.

Checkit! Applications for Barnard Entrepreneurs

Want to hit the ground running with your business? There are tons of soft-ware to help you do that, but here are some amazing and sometimes free or inexpensive esources that are perfect for entrepreneurial projects. The list starts with some you know and some you definitely don’t!

  1. Google Docs: is the easiest way to share documents, manage your business’ calendar and far more– if not a long term solution, it can help you get started without spending a ton of money.
  2. Skype: is great for making phone calls online, but it has a lot of bells and whistles (like video conferencing) that make it extremely useful for a new, small business.
  3. LinkedIn: is an easy and ever-progressing utility for accruing professional contacts and expanding your network. Bottom line, socializing is the key to a successful entrepreneurial venture. In addition, its a great place to ask questions and get advice on all sorts of business topics.
  4. Basecamp: is the company’s project management tool. 37signals also offer Highrise (CRM) and a few other great tools.
  5. Blinksale: Among online options for invoicing, this one comes highly recommended part because it works well with other tools like PayPal and Basecamp.
  6. Zoho: offers a full diet of tools including CRM, invoicing, project management and databases, check out Zoho.
  7. RocketLawyer: helps navigate the legalities of running your own business, RocketLawyer provides free forms as well as help with all sorts of legal documents.

Excerpt from On Becoming Fearless… In Love, Life, and Work

In her new book “On Becoming Fearless… In Love, Life, and Work” Arianna Huffington addresses professional double standards, the science of gender behavior, and myriad social, cultural, economic and environmental factors that seem to preclude feminine fearlessness. Here are some valuable thinking points excerpted from the book- definitely worthwhile for the future entrepreneurs among us!

1. ON BECOMING FEARLESS AT WORK

… María Otero is the CEO of the nonprofit ACCION International, which helps fund businesses for women in the developing world. “Being a woman makes me a better manager,” she said. “In some ways, being able to develop a management-leadership style that is based on forming a team is very much in line with the way I interact with my sisters or other women. We’re all in it together.”

2. MAKE BOLDNESS WORK FOR YOU

One way to overcome the fears of being ambitious and assertive is by learning how to play the men’s office “game” but tailoring it to our own style. As Gail Evans observes in her book Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman, knowledge of the men’s rule book equals power in the workplace. Taking credit for our work and accomplishments and fearlessly negotiating for compensation can be interpreted as ambitious and aggressive. But as Evans says, “You are who you say you are.” If you act timid and unimportant, that’s how you’ll be perceived.

3. GET PERSPECTIVE

Having perspective on what is important in our lives is another essential part of tapping into the boldness that allows us to fulfill our dreams. After two decades running a graphic design firm, Denise Houseberg stuck her neck out to start an Internet marketing business called MarketExpo.com, only to discover six months into it that she had breast cancer … “Breast cancer was the catalyst that removed a lifetime of fear … Once you stare down the throat of your own demise and survive, you get pretty fearless about business matters,” she said. “Before my illness, I would have been like most women, who say, ‘What does it hurt to bootstrap, use my own money, and build things slowly?’ ”

4. OVERCOMING FEAR OF FAILURE

Not letting our fears paralyze us is key in any new job or venture, especially when there is the possibility of public criticism or humiliation. We have to weigh the psychic cost of not trying against the possibility of not succeeding and being embarrassed by our efforts. The former creates regret, the latter a few hours — or maybe a few days — of licking our wounds.

5. THE ART OF NEGOTIATION

Some of us try to get what we want through workaholism, but there’s another way: negotiation. The art of asking for what you want is a key to fearlessness at work … Many women shrink from the idea of negotiating because they think it just means being loud, aggressive, and pushy. In fact, the essence of negotiation is coming to an agreement that does not sacrifice what is essential to you while allowing the other party to do the same. It’s actually something women are brilliantly suited for.

6. MAKE FEAR YOUR FRIEND

As in other areas of life, being fearless at work doesn’t mean eliminating fear. It simply means acknowledging it, making it your ally, and not letting it stop you … In 2002, Caroline Graham, the former West Coast editor of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk magazine, and her good friend editor in chief Tina Brown both lost their jobs after Harvey Weinstein, Talk’s publisher, decided to close the magazine.

At first, Caroline felt “shame and fear. I had no nest egg, four children, a house, and several dogs to take care of.” But she rallied and applied her professional skill — and the relationships she’d nurtured — to a new career running C4 Consulting, a marketing, public-relations, and event-planning firm: “In that emergency I got on the phone to those who had trusted me in the past and those who might need the expertise I had gained. I learned that I had more friends and more knowledge than I had imagined. My son Charlie pitched in as my partner, and we went at it like terriers. And it worked. Fighting fear was invigorating, and so was taking on the world in my way.”



THE REWARDS OF BEING FEARLESS AT WORK

Ultimately, to be fearless at work means to find a sense of self determination, accomplishment, fulfillment, and purpose that helps us live our best lives. What’s more, by being a leader at work — taking risks and doing things in new ways — we can mentor and show others the way to not only excel but transform the meaning of work.

EVENT: Columbia Venture Community – Speed Networking

 

 

Yo Ladies!

CVC Speed Networking Co-Sponsored by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

 

6:30pm

 

Barnard College, Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor Barnard Hall

 

More info here!


Checkit! Startup Blogs For Barnard Entrepreneurs

Blogs are such a useful tool  and available to anyone, no matter the phase of your project, level of success or even interest in your own business. They are excellent for keeping tabs on the industry, reading about progress in fields of interest. Often entrepreneurs  marching toward their own business will chronicle their experiences and ultimately, their records are vital resources to consult for your own projects. Here are some great sites!

  1. Young Entrepreneur: Challenges that face younger entrepreneurs are very different, and look here for informative profiles of young entrepreneurs.
  2. Small Business Labs: This one tries to predict what’s coming next.
  3. Startup Nation: offers entrepreneurial advice from proven successes in their fields of expertise, running the gamut from every aspect of creating and running a startup.
  4. Lateral Action: For the more creative business women, like graphic designers, writers and such, running your own business has unique challenges, all outlined on this site.
  5. IttyBiz: If your looking to start an online business or interested in marketing information, this is a fantastic resource.
  6. Freelance Switch: This one deals with, shockingly, freelance. There’s business advice, ideas for staying productive and more.
  7. Escape from Cubicle Nation: Ready to break out of the 9-5? This blog helps support such escapees.

Beautiful and Bold, Hold the Bear

Barnard Entrepreneurs! Ever wonder why they call us both beautiful and bold? Other than our beloved common denominator Barnard College, we’re all ladies unlike the pool of co-eds across the street. On their side of broadway, researchers recently published a study that characterize risk taking across gender lines.

The idea isn’t new, but their conclusions are. With respect to the established wisdom which links risk-taking with testosterone (a logic that renders men more capable of suppressing their fears than women) Senior News Editor of Psych Central Rick Nauert, Ph.D. writes, “Men are willing to take more risks in finances. But women take more social risks — a category that includes things like starting a new career in your mid 30s or speaking your mind about an unpopular issue in a meeting at work.” In simpler terms, life-experiences may cause these risk-taking disparities, i.e. the differences in how women and men encounter the world, especially as we’re growing up: If you have more experience with a risky situation, you may perceive it as less risky,says co-writer Bernd Figner, Ph.D., who cowrote the paper with Elke Weber, Ph.D. Often, boldness is equated with masculinity, with wrestling bears and grilling meat. Whatever your reasons for claiming the boldness for yourself, I think the typical story for the Barnard woman was that she was tour-de-force in high school, she did something innovative, unprecedented that made an impact on her community for the better. In college-speak she’s no freshman to important types of risk-taking, knowing that abstaining Timothy Treadwell’s rough-and-tough life wasn’t a cop-out, just good cents.

-JM

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