Entrepreneur:The Perks of Being an Outlier CEO


By: Caren Maio

In school, the unpopular kids sit alone at lunch. Some of them just don’t fit in. In business, it’s much the same way. Fitting in is just as important. It’s the fast track to networking, perks and promotions. But what if you’re not part of the club?

I’m a female CEO of a New York real estate technology startup — an outsider to my industry in more ways than one. New York is 2,563 miles from Silicon Valley, the epicenter of new tech ventures. Real estate and technology companies are predominantly captained by men. Investors and customers alike can be sternly skeptical when a younger woman from the advertising world comes to transform how they do business in their fields.

Being an outsider comes with plenty of challenges. But this article isn’t about that. I’m here to say, without reservation, that these same differences can be an advantage — and have been for me. As an outsider, you’re freer to innovate and can see solutions others miss. Being different means you stand out from the competition, which can be an asset. And it’s far from a lonely struggle. Underdogs often build close-knit networks to help each other find their way. It hasn’t been an easy path, but here’s how being an outlier has given me an unexpected edge.

Click here to read more.

AVIS: Commit to Eliminating Distractions


Don’t become a statistic. Take ownership for your actions behind the wheel. Be at your best!

Whether driving to a meeting or after business hours, it requires your full attention. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is the equivalent, at 55 mph, of driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded!

Like any complex task, safe driving requires you to be at the top of your game. Focused attention, quick reaction time and smart decision making are needed every time you take the wheel.

Maintain a safe driving distance. On clear, dry roads, maintain 3-4 second spacing from the vehicle in front of you. Triple this when road conditions are poor.

Frequently scan your mirrors.

Drive safe! Obey laws and speed limits, use turn signals and don’t tailgate.

Visit avis.com/wpo to save up to 25% off your next rental.


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

WPO Guest Blog- Brand Reputation: From Foundation to Flourish

By: Rose McKinney, APR, CEO, PineappleRM


When your business opened, whether that was recently or many years ago, it started with a purpose. The company name and logo helped customers know what your business did; these also set expectations of what it would be like to do business with your company.

In essence, you created a brand. And, in time, your business went from making a brand promise to earning a reputation.

You might wonder once you have a brand, does it ever need a refresh? If there have been changes within the organization – new leadership, new product or service categories, new innovations, etc., this is a good time to determine the current relevance of message and imagery. It’s also a good idea to monitor the competition and make sure your brand – and its reputation – remains distinct and compelling.


*Rose McKinney is founder of PineappleRM, a Minneapolis-based communications firm focused on reputation management. She’s been an active member of WPO Minneapolis Chapter 1 since 2006.


Forbes: Why Stella & Dot CEO Jessica Herrin Stopped Trying To Do It All

By: Katia Savchuk


The way Jessica Herrin puts it, she nearly “died alone on I-Can-Do-It-All-Island.” When she started Stella & Dot, a direct-sales accessories company, 13 years ago, it was a side business while she worked full-time as a marketing manager at Dell and was pregnant with her first child.

Herrin already had one company under belt. At age 24, she had dropped out of Stanford Business School to cofound a wedding-gift registry site, which later merged with WeddingChannel.com. Five years after Herrin left the company, it sold to The Knot in a deal worth $78 million.

Today, as CEO of the Brisbane, Calif.-based Stella & Dot, Herrin, 43, has grown the company to a profitable enterprise with $300 million in revenues. It has paid some $300 million in commissions to more than 50,000 stylists, who keep up to 35% of the value of sales they make.

Last year the company expanded beyond trendy accessories to two new brands: KEEP Collective, a line of keepsake jewelry, and EVER Skincare. Herrin has an estimated net worth of $135 million, making her one of FORBES’ self-made women to watch in 2016 and well on her way to joining the rankings of America’s Richest Self-Made Women.

Click here to read full article.

Atlanta Tribune Magazine: Salute to Minority Business Owners

Phyllis Winchester Newhouse is just as adept at being part of a unit as she is being at the head of one. After more than 22 years in the military she foundedXtreme Solutions Inc. in 2002, as an Information Technology solutions provider specializing in Software Development Life Cycle management that paralleledher military know-how. Newhouse has since grown the company into a profitable multi-million dollar enterprise with more than 190 highly skilled professionals in 20-plus states, supporting several prime contracts with civilian and defense agencies of the Federal government and providing IT and end-to-end solutions in information assurance, cyber security and network support to
FORTUNE 500 companies around the globe. In the last five years, Xtreme Soultions Inc. has been widely recognized as one of Georgia’s leaders in job growth, creation and new hires, and has earned a competitive ranking in the nation for IT services companies.
Read the full story here beginning on page 32.

PNC: U.K.Votes To Leave The E.U., and Additional Foreign Quantitative Easing and Rate Cuts Are Likely To Follow

Brexit is a body blow to the political prestige of the European Union, and is already spurring euro-skeptics in the Netherlands, France, Italy, and potentially other member states to advocate for their countries to follow the U.K. in leaving the E.U. However, its economic effects are likely to be less severe, and will play out slowly given the presumed timeline of the U.K.’s withdrawal. After Brexit the Eurozone will likely still grow in the second half of 2016, but slower than our pre-Brexit forecast for 1.5 percent real GDP growth for the full year of 2016.

In a surprise outcome, 52 percent of the British electorate voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. Opinion polls prior to the referendum showed a narrow majority favoring remaining in the E.U. The vote gives a mandate to their government to initiate negotiations to withdraw from the European Union, but withdrawal will likely not occur until 2018 at the earliest. The U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who opposed Brexit, announced his plan to turn over the government’s leadership to a new Prime Minister by October, and that he would not formally initiate the U.K.’s withdrawal before then.

Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty governing the European Union, when a member state notifies the E.U. of its intention to withdraw, it initiates a two-year negotiation of the state’s post E.U. economic relations during which status quo policies governing trade and migration continue to apply (the U.K. and E.U. would have the option to extend these negotiations if two years are not enough). The terms of negotiation would cover whether nationals from other E.U. member states residing in the U.K. could stay, whether British nationals living in other E.U. states could keep their foreign residency, and the terms on which British companies could export goods and services to customers in the E.U. (and vice versa). Given London’s role as the financial capital of Europe, the outcome of these negotiations would have profound implications for the U.K.’s financial and business services industries.

Click here to read more.

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

Financial Times: Gender Differences Emerge as Companies Grow


By: Brian Groom

As the number of women-owned businesses expands worldwide, women can be found at the helm of successful companies in nearly every sector. The number of female entrepreneurs increased by 7 per cent between 2012 and 2014, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s Women’s Report.

Take Zhou Qunfei, thought to be the world’s richest self-made woman. She was a poor Chinese factory worker who founded Lens Technology, which supplies touchscreens to the likes of Apple and Samsung. Or Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who created Biocon, an Indian biotechnology company, in her garage in Bangalore at the age of 25. Or Denise Coates, the English entrepreneur who founded Bet365, one of the world’s largest online gambling sites.

There are also millions of women running small and medium-sized enterprises. Women-owned businesses account for more than 30 per cent of registered businesses worldwide, according to the World Bank, making a significant impact on job creation and poverty reduction.

Read more here.