Inc: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs (Especially Women) Unintentionally Rob Themselves of Success



This one is for you, ladies. But gentlemen–you’ll want to listen in. You may find that you relate.

Today is American Business Women’s Day. A day to honor the contributions of women. And, a day to claim and deepen those contributions through acknowledging and redirecting four of the most significant ways women hold themselves back.

Ladies. Colleagues. As you read, be honest. Do these self-saboteurs resonate with you?

Do you find that as you run your business you:

1. Hit snooze on your BS detector

You know something just isn’t right. About a person. A situation. A decision you’ve made. A request you’re fielding. Something’s out of whack, out of alignment.

But, you ignore the niggling feeling. You tell yourself you’ll “keep tabs”…see how things unfold. It’s not that big of a deal. It can wait. The truth?

You get busy. Other, more pressing issues take your attention away. The next time you check in, what was a little out of alignment has steam-rolled into a major issue.

More of your time and energy is needed to fix it than if you had just paid attention–if you had just “nipped it in the bud” in the beginning.

Listen to your intuition. Tune in to it. Honor it. Use it. Trust yourself. Save yourself unnecessary depletions of time and energy.

2. Let work rob you of your joy

You love your work. You love the people you work with. You love your company. It’s like a child to you. With needs that are always–always–on your mind.

Satisfying those needs can be exhilarating. Affirming.

Yet, there’s a tipping point. A point at which taking care of your business can take over your life. When you’re in it, it can be hard to see when you’ve crossed that line. Your work runs you rather than you running it.

You may need to depend on others to signal you when you’ve crossed the line.

When was the last time you felt pure joy that had nothing to do with work? Joy that came from simple moments with yourself or those you love. Are those moments rare?

Take stock. Be honest with yourself about what you see.

Click here to read more.

Women’s Voices for Change: “She Talks” A New Docu-Series From ABC On Women Entrepreneurs


This Fall season, ABC has launched a new digital series “She Talks.” And, with Season 1 already available to stream online, it’s a wonderful new addition to the channel’s lineup.

“She Talks” is a docu-series that profiles women entrepreneurs who share their stories about sacrifice and success after striking out on their own, including Alli Webb, founder of DryBar; Wendi Levy and Kim Etheridge, co founders of Mixed Chicks; Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker, co-founders of Sugar Paper; and Zhena Muzyka, founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea. These real-life women entrepreneurs share the sacrifices and triumphs of striking out on their own. In intimate and fun interviews, they share what it takes to be successful: be smart, work hard and above all be fearless. They also share their vulnerabilities, where they stumbled and failed in building their endeavors, and how they learned from those challenges.

As television viewing continues to grow on mobile and online platforms (and decline on traditional TV), we hope to see more of these kinds of shows geared toward working women as ABC continues to boost its digital-exclusive originals lineup on its apps and website.


The Encore: Walmart Dedicates $8.8M to Help Small Business Owners

Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Giving Program announced its continued commitment to small business owners-especially women, minorities and veterans-with the news of $8.8 million in new grants dedicated to borrower education initiatives that ease the top barrier to entry for many small businesses: access to capital.

Walmart recognizes that while many small business owners have the drive, the ingenuity and the grit to make their businesses successful, they often find access to capital is a barrier to entry. That’s one reason Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Giving Program in 2015 announced the Small Business Economic Mobility initiative, a five-year investment in small business growth through increased access to capital and borrower education.

Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, co-owners of Southern Girl Desserts, found themselves needing to expand their high-traffic store after they whipped the competition to become Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” champions. The owners of Southern Girl Desserts received funding from an unfamiliar lender quickly but later realized the interest rate was exorbitant and ended up unable to keep up with the payments.

The initiative’s first round of grants totaled $13.6 million to eight national nonprofit organizations that provide access to capital and borrower education to underserved U.S. small businesses, including women, minorities and veterans. This year’s grants build on that work. For a list of the nonprofits awarded grants, read the full press release here.

For more information on Sam’s Club’s investment in our communities, read the recently released 2016 Global Responsibility Report.

Forbes: Hear Her Corner CEO’s Advice To Help Women Entrepreneurs Thrive

By Anushay Hossain


With 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States currently employing nearly 9 million people, and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues, the state of women’s entrepreneurshipin America is looking quite bright.

But although the number of women joining the startup world is growing, and expected to increase, what can women business-owners do to make their companies grow and succeed?

That is the question Frédérique (Fred) Irwin, CEO and Founder of Her Corner, an online platform for women business owners, is determined to help women answer.

“I was angry when I found out that 88 percent of women business owners don’t make more than $100,000 in gross revenue a year,” Irwin said. “I was really mad because every single woman I’d ever met who owned her own business wanted to make more money, but she didn’t always know how.”

And that is where Irwin and her team at Her Corner come in.

I spoke with Irwin about how she gives women the springboard they need, and why she wants women-owned businesses to thrive.

Anushay Hossain: What is Her Corner and why did you start it?

Fred Irwin: Her Corner is a digital and in-person global community of women business owners committed to helping women grow their businesses.

It is the only online business resource that offers collaboration with fellow business owners, online educational programs, in-person peer groups, business accelerators, original business advice from prominent experts, and resources to help fund women’s businesses. We believe women can grow their businesses through the power of collective intelligence.

I started it because despite my business background I was still struggling to find other women, like me, who “got” what I was going through.

I was looking to find women with whom I could talk about business (share resources, compare notes, collect advice,) while also knowing that they weren’t judging me if I had to schedule a meeting around a pickup time for school.

We were similarly ambitious and motivated, but also living a similarly hectic life – and that was ok. Those were the women I was looking to collaborate with.

Click here to read full article.

Ask Marsha: Women Entrepreneurs Take Giant Steps Forward in Science and Technology Fields


By Dr. Marsha Firestone

While historically women entrepreneurs have been under represented in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – they are making inroads in these high-growth industry sectors essential to America’s economic growth and global competitiveness. Popular culture has promoted stereotypes when it comes to industries perceived as “male” vs. “female.”  However members in the Women Presidents’ Organization increasingly represent a broad cross section of businesses.

Here are some examples of women who are providing positive role models for other business owners looking to make strides in science and technology fields.

  • Pamela Kan, President, Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation

A certified and woman-owned family of companies, Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG), located in Pittsburgh, California, works with manufacturers to engineer, manufacture, and build linear and rotary motion solutions, custom complex assemblies, and optimal embedded intelligence systems. Pamela is passionate about helping to create a more diverse, inclusive pipeline of employees for her industry. Bishop-Wisecarver helps manufacturers and Automation Solution Providers engineer linear and rotary motion products by thoroughly understanding their design requirements and ensuring unique solutions that can ship within 2 to 3 weeks. This results in product differentiation, longer product life, 50% faster time to market, and up to 100% lower install and maintenance costs.

  • Carolyn Cross, Chairman & CEO, Ondine Biomedical Inc.

Carolyn Cross is Founder of Ondine Biomedical Inc., a Vancouver-based medical device company. It develops non-antibiotic infection control therapies for a number of applications. Called photo disinfection, the technique uses laser light, not drugs, to kill pathogens. Given the growing concerns about drug-resistant bacteria, the technology could be an important new tool in fighting drug-resistant micro-organisms. In her efforts to help other women in business, Cross brings a sense of urgency that comes from a keen awareness of the shortness of life – something that was violently underscored in 2011 when she was in a small plane crash in Richmond that claimed the life of the pilot and co-pilot.

  • Phyllis Newhouse, President and CEO, Xtreme Solutions

Extreme Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia, founded by Phyllis Newhouse, combines best practices in information technology, along with key partnerships with many of the top security-solutions manufacturers, to provide federal agencies and major corporations with superior information technology and cybersecurity solutions. After spending twenty-two years in the military, Phyllis Newhouse knew the federal government was outsourcing the majority of its IT services. Before she left military service in 1999, she began to formulate a way to leverage the leadership acumen and skill set she had gained to build an IT company with the “right stuff” to pitch to the Department of Defense. The company was up and running by 2002. As an ethical hacking firm, Xtreme Solutions helps identify potential threats to a computer or network by searching the system for weak points that could be exploited.

  • Jennifer Jeansonne, CEO of Eagle Consulting, LLC

An international Upstream Oil & Gas Consulting Firm in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, Eagle Consulting LLC provides field supervision and in-house engineering services for drilling operations, in addition to health, safety and environmental representatives. The company matches oil and gas companies, large and small, with experienced project management and engineering consultants along the Gulf Coast. Jennifer’s father insisted she work at his oil and gas staffing firm in Belle Chasse, then mentored her for years before handing over the keys to the company. Eagle Consulting currently operates in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the shale plays in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas and New Mexico, as well as overseas.

The growing power of women’s businesses and its profound impact on the economy has not received the attention it deserves. So we decided to do something about it. In 2007 WPO launched the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies™ to focus much needed attention on the vital role that women-owned/led companies have in boosting the economy and enhancing overall job growth. Each year we receive hundreds of applicants vying for the distinction of being named one of the “50 Fastest.”

This year’s list represents our most diverse ranking ever, with an immense geographic reach covering 20 states, as well as industries ranging from energy efficiency to cybersecurity and engineering. In April we launched a book, The Women Presidents’ Organization 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies™ Guide to Growth, sponsored by American Express. The book aims to help female business owners grow their enterprises through tried-and-true methods and serves as a tool to arm women-owned businesses with actionable ways to succeed.

Through compelling stories from 15 different experienced winners of the Fifty Fastest Women-Owned/Led Companies, this guide provides insight into the strategies that fueled their growth. The book highlights tips and best practices on topics including branding, financing, human resources, innovation and sales.

We are grateful for the support of American Express to be able to share these inspirational stories, and proud to announce the new handbook is now on the American Express website.  Click here to download.

We need more visibility for the work that many accomplished and successful women are doing to reinforce the notion that technology should be gender blind. Changing the stereotypes that in the past have inhibited women from tapping into their true potential will help encourage participation in STEM fields in the future.

The Encore: Why UPS Believes 3D Printing Will Shake Up the Supply Chain

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“3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but today there’s really an explosion going on,” says Alan Amling, Vice President of Marketing at United Parcel Services (UPS) Global Logistics & Distribution. “Every week you see something new about it in the press.”

Amling was addressing the recent 2016 SAP Aerospace & Defense Innovation Days event in Dallas, and the audience of industry insiders definitely agreed with him.

3D printing is a hot topic these days, and it’s easy to understand why. For starters, the technology seems to spark incredible creativity. Just consider the very clever people who have used it to bring classical painting to the blindor create prosthetic shells for injured turtles.

But as Amling explains, 3D printing is also going mainstream. And as it does, the technology is likely to revolutionize traditional manufacturing and redefine our notion of supply chain logistics.

Click here to read more.


*WPO would like to thank UPS for providing this week’s sponsor blog content.

WPO Guest Blog: Footprint Women Interview with Louise Richnau

By Gunvor Engstrom


Louise Richnau


Position – CEO Brunswick Real Estate Capital, Founding Partner Brunswick Real Estate
Company – Brunswick Real Estate Capital
Founded – 1992
Number of employees – around 80 within the group
Successes – Group first rank ratings in Real Estate Investment Banking, Investment Management and now the first real estate debt fund in the Nordics.
Member of Women Presidents´Organization

How did you get this position?

I grew up in an academic rather than entrepreneurial family. Not really knowing what to pursue, I followed a friend´s advice and went to the Royal Institute of Technology for a Master in Surveying/Real Estate Economics. Graduating in a challenging environment in 1991 I started working as an analyst for the First, Second and Third National Swedish Pension Funds as they were setting up the Real Estate Investment team. After seven years in a fantastic, analytical environment I joined Drott, a real estate company out of Skanska, as it was being listed. Goal oriented leadership was key. In 2002 I was asked to join a real estate advisory/investment bank team – a group of people I still work with. As an advisor I had to go outside my comfort zone every day, always having to add value or you have no role. Around 2012 I started to think about taking a different route – and took on a new role on the investment side of our business.
The last four years I have focused on bringing institutional capital to real estate debt and real estate lending. We have started the first real estate senior debt fund in the Nordics, held final close in March 2015 and it is now almost fully invested. Fund number two is being set up as we speak and we are developing additional debt strategies.
For me, as a former basketballplayer, the team and the coach are key and I have always been careful with both. I have not been afraid to express what I want to do. In each workplace I´ve been I have circled what I would like to do and said so. I believe my curiosity in combination with a genuine interest in people has helped me. I am persistent (fit into ‘Gritty’) and strive for constant improvement.

Biggest Success?

What is success? I love my family, my friends, have great people to work with and feel exceptionally fortunate. Success at work is each time we build trust, deliver for our clients and are able to grow our business further as a result of that.

Decision you regret?

I don´t really think like that – it is not worth the energy! I have sometimes reflected/wondered what my life would have looked like if I had gone to NY to investigate the REIT market, if I had gotten a job as an equity analyst or if we had moved to Germany for my husband´s work. I am happy where I am, life is full of coincidence and I am grateful that I have been blessed with decent judgement to walk away from situations I am not happy with. Maybe I should do more things I might regret…..

Biggest Challenge?

Generally, my biggest challenge is me – to maintain energy and be kind to myself.
The undoubtedly toughest experience of my life was to lose my brother and my father within less than two years. Workwise – as a consequence of the financial crisis (after Lehman), we reduced the workforce by close to 40 percent. It was the right thing to do given the situation– but a very hard message to deliver to people you really like and have worked together with for a long time.

Experience to share with other entrepreneurs?

Allow things to take time, there are no shortcuts, surround yourself only with people who add to your energy, trust your instinct.