Friday, August 29, 2008

Tips for hiring a great team

Begin by articulating your personal and business brand to potential employees. That’s as easy as writing a job description that provides a glimpse of what your company is all about. That will get the ball rolling when it comes to attracting the right individuals to your door. You know the kind of people I’m talking about. They’re the workers who understand that it’s your company, but treat it as if it’s their own.

You’ve created a real brand. Now it’s time to hire some real people who think like you about the culture you’ve created. For more tips on hiring a knock-out team and building a creative culture, check out Real Fact Five in Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials For Women Entrepreneurs.

What makes your culture great?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Finding the right professional organizations for you

Connecting with like-minded individuals is a great way to grow your business and your personal network, but we all seem to be strapped for time with work, family and other activities. That’s why it’s best to only join organizations that have meaning to you. Start by visiting several groups so you can determine which ones are right for you. Then be selective, because attending too many meetings, or joining a long list of organizations, is the opposite of real.

Once you find that perfect fit—an organization that turns out to be exactly what you’re looking for—volunteer your time as a leader. Why? Because you’ll get the most out of it that way—and so will the organization. Leaders who give their time this way quickly learn that the benefits far outweigh the input.

Check out this website for great professional organizations in your area! Have you found an organization that speaks to your passions? Tell us about it, we’d love to hear from you!

To learn more about finding your passions, check out Real Fact Two in Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials For Women Entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Have you seen one of the best blogs for marketing to women?

I’m excited to share with you that I have recently become a contributing columnist to eBrandMarketing—the No. 1 blog on marketing to women—published by Glam Media, which reaches 77 million unique visitors. You’ll hear from the foremost authorities on women, like Fara Warner, author of Power of the Purse.

My column, called (you guessed it!) Real You, spotlights what women are looking for in a brand experience. I share my thoughts about how companies can do a better job connecting with us through emotional branding, authenticity and understanding women’s purchasing power.

Check out one of the most read blogs on eBrandMarketing: Real You: “Ladies” you can ride, look pretty, but you cannot drive, and come back every Friday for a new Real You column!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Real You: Learning the lessons of blogging

Sure, as a writer, blogging comes fairly easy for me. I like sitting in front of the computer, with a white space to fill with words. The problem is, if nobody else reads the words, it's sort of like writing in a diary. Helpful personally, but not likely to help grow my business. So that's what I've been focusing on the last few days. Learning how to link, maximize, post, syndicate the content, and most importantly, find more readers who could benefit and learn from the content I love to share.

My message to you: don't be afraid. Jump in. Learn the lessons of blogging and connecting - so you aren't just blogging to yourself!

Ok, like this example?? This doesn't look good to you or me? Hopefully, I'll be able to fix it, but at least you know I'm trying. Go ahead. To grow your business, you've got to grow your confidence online.

Like me, you just have to keep learning! Add to Technorati Favorites

Spouse and Business Partner: Making it Work

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. At Real Living, my husband is the CEO, and I’m the president. Being a husband-and-wife team has its ups and downs, but for the most part, it’s a great opportunity. You’re sharing your business success with the same person you plan to spend the rest of your life with.

But the road can be bumpy if you don’t take the time to define your individual roles. Determine from the get-go who has the final say on decisions and who’s responsible for various functions in the company. That’s a must.

Then there’s the issue of financial and emotional risk. When you’re both involved, that obviously increases. But there’s an awesome tradeoff that you simply can’t ignore: When everything is running smoothly, it’s doubly rewarding—and you’ll be able to enjoy that together.

Do you have any great success stories about working with your spouse? We’d love to hear them! For more tips on working with a spouse or business partner check out Life Lesson Five in Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If you make your female customers happy, your male customers will be happy, too. We are the demanding ones.

MAKE IT HAPPEN: Schedule a regular time (monthly or quarterly) when you and the members of your team can discuss how to touch base with your customers. During this time, talk about what’s working and what’s not. Consider what you might do differently—or better. Remember, your goal should be to stay one step ahead of her. Now, get moving! You have no time to waste.

TIP IN ACTION: Women are world-class consumers, making or influencing 85 percent of all purchases and 91 percent of home purchases. Given these statistics, don’t women deserve a little attention? In the 1970s, women were purchasing with his money. Today she is purchasing with her money. Knowing that, it’s no surprise that women are dramatically changing how products and services are designed and marketed. Call it what it is: the unstoppable trend of women’s buying power. At Real Living, we created the first residential real estate company built with women in mind, from the logo and font treatment to the consumer-friendly Web site. Look around you. No doubt you’re surrounded by other companies that are following a similar course of action.

Share your best practices for connecting with consumers.

For more on connecting with female consumers, check out Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Almighty Power of Networking

Networking is not just important, it’s absolutely necessary. In whatever stage of the game you are—whether you own a company or you’re working for someone else—networking with other individuals is essential because you never know who can help you move up or help you move on.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Get over being intimidated. Leaving your comfort zone is never easy, but you can practice at home by role-playing what you’ll say when you meet people. Get your elevator pitch down.
  • Go with a friend. If you know someone who’s really involved in a group or organization, tag along. She’ll be sure to introduce you to her circle.
  • Always be on the lookout for networking opportunities. It might happen the next time you’re in the cafeteria. Introduce yourself to that person from another department—the one you see occasionally—but neither of you ever speak.
  • And don’t fret; it gets easier!

To network with other women online check out the share forum on, it’s a great way to get started. We’d love to hear from you!

Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Women in business have clout-lots of it. And we're gaining more every day.

MAKE IT HAPPEN: What about you? Do you dream about a career that affords you more clout? Do you think about how your life might be different as an entrepreneur? If so, trust your gut instinct and decide that now is the time to make a change. Next, take care of yourself. Remember, if you’re not happy, and if you can’t be there for yourself, you can’t be there for anyone else. In addition to that, don’t go it alone. Reach out to others and tell your story. Don’t be an island; that is too isolating. Finally, separate yourself from negative influencers, or snarks. Put simply, don’t worry about society’s expectations for you. Instead, do what feels right.

TIP IN ACTION: The statistics prove it. Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men. In fact, every 60 seconds a woman starts a business. From home-based businesses to high-level entrepreneurs, women are taking control of their professional careers in a variety of ways. Why? For starters, it’s a way to break the glass ceiling. Women who are tired of taking a backseat in Corporate America are turning to entrepreneurship as a way to get ahead. But most of all, women are looking for a better way to align their personal life with their professional life. Some call it balance, but it’s really about pursuing dreams. Entrepreneurship is a means for accomplishing that goal.

Looking for more inspiration? Go to to find out what other women have to say.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Women Gather in Austin for Balance Expo

If you are in Austin, Texas, this Saturday Aug. 9, stop by the Balance Expo for Women at the Palmer Events Center. Join me and 7,000 other women finding new ways to balance careers, children, charitable passions and social lives. There’s a 5K Run in the morning to benefit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, and the expo runs from 8:30-4 p.m.

I’ll be presenting Putting Your Passions Into Action. Other speakers include Jackie Warner, fitness expert and entrepreneur from Bravo’s Work Out, actress Elizabeth Keener from the The L Word, Brad Womack, of The Bachelor, and many other experts on business, health, fashion, wellness and children.

Stop by the Real You booth. I’d love to meet you!

Is a Culture Vulture bringing down your team?

You’ve probably met this person at one time or another. They’re the employee that isn’t on board. The one causing friction among your staff and bringing down team morale. I have a name for people who sabotage businesses—culture vultures! And my best advice is to get rid of this person as soon as you can. If that’s not possible, then pay close attention to what’s going on, and trust your instincts. In other words, your perceptions of this person are probably right.

In the meantime, take comfort in the fact that culture vultures usually destroy themselves. Truth prevails, but it doesn’t typically happen as fast you’d like. Get help in the form of a business consultant, a person who will work with you to plan a strategy that ensures that every member of your team is on the same page.

Is your team being brought down by a culture vulture? Share your experiences with us! You can learn more about how to avoid culture vultures in Life Lesson Fifteen of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Things to consider before starting a business

Before bringing a great business idea to life, you must prepare yourself for what’s ahead. There are many things you can do, but begin by connecting with people. First, find a mentor, a person who can teach you the ropes and share personal experiences at the same time. Learn from this individual. Why is she successful? What could this person have done differently?

Of course, you may have to step out of your comfort zone. For instance, the next time you’re riding the elevator with a co-worker you don’t know, introduce yourself. It’s critical to develop relationships, so start immediately!

Do you have a fantastic mentor that you want to tell us about? Go ahead, we’d love to hear about the real people in your life! For more on mentors and networking check out my book, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Write your own job description based on what you enjoy doing.

Think about what it means to be, act, think and look like you. It’s not necessary to mimic other people. Instead, strive for authenticity. Now, bring out the paper and pencil, or start up the computer, and write your dream job description. When you’re done, make it your goal. With that as your focus, you’ll be surprised how quickly things start to fall into place.

Rachel Anne Mazur, CEO of DASCO Home Medical Equipment in Westerville, Ohio, is all about having passion for what you do. Although her father started the business more than 20 years ago, it wasn’t until Rachel started working for a similar company that she discovered it was her passion. Already very much a family person, Rachel returned home to join the family business—and there’s been no turning back. Why? Because she loves her job as CEO, and her fun, upbeat attitude is an example for all the employees at DASCO.

If you’re looking for more tips about finding your passion, check out Rachel’s profile or Real Fact #2 of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.