By Julie Bawden Davis Originally published 3/29/18: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/where-are-the-resources-for-women-owned-businesses/?linknav=us-openforum-profile-articles-2
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35.8 percent of businesses are owned by women. Yet many women business owners have a difficult time obtaining traditional bank financing for their companies. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s most recent findings on barriers to women’s entrepreneurship found that “only 4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans goes to women entrepreneurs.”
Fortunately, there are resources, including financial assistance, available to women business owners.
Girl on girl crime isn’t simply something to laugh at from Mean Girls. It’s unfortunately very, very real. Recently, a female ‘friend’ of mine spun a connection I helped facilitate. The focus was when I connected them, the lack of diversity and women in a local organization, and her spin not only distracted from the problem, it proposed a solution that was very much in ideation. Her reasoning when confronted?
‘I had to.’
‘I couldn’t lose my relationship with [insert problematic organization].’
This is the same problematic organization whose owner asked (after I had rented space there for a two years at $150 – $300 a month) if I really owned my business, if people worked with me or I was still in ideation, if I hired a ghostwriter for the book I had just published, and if I had actually started my business – all in front of other business people and potential clients.
All by the same guy who had put other women in awkward and uncomfortable positions.
The same problem this friend and I were fighting to fix in the community.
Before this goes too far down the rabbit hole, this isn’t about that organization and its practices. This is about the girl on girl crime that happened and continues to happen.
Giving a presentation can be nerve-wracking even to the most seasoned public speaker. When you’re already on edge, interruptions can be hard to handle.
We talked to more than a dozen people who give speeches or presentations regularly. This is how they recommend preventing interruptions during your next speech or how to deal with them if they do happen.
How to Prevent Interruptions in the First Place
Preparation is critical to giving a good speech. In the same way, it’s important to prepare your audience to hear it. These strategies will help your audience settle into listening mode and give you an air of authority.
Late last year I was about to present my company a sample curriculum at a national training session geared towards trainers. An acquaintance came up to me and said, “Oh, you look taller!” I laughed, knowing it wasn’t a height thing. In truthfulness, it was a confidence and owning my business thing. I told him as much – I went through a lot and was finally taking charge in my life, and it was showing all over the place.
And then his partner, a woman, laughed and said, “Oh, it’s her hair – and she’s an actress so she probably is wearing lifts in her shoes.” For some reason, that infuriated me – I was confident and that’s why I looked taller – I was carrying myself differently! I said this, and she scoffed again, and said, “Sure, Jen. Maybe it’s your outfit.”
Remember this game? Never Have I Ever: that game you played at slumber parties when your mom closed the door or maybe at some party with your crush in high school. I remember it fondly, actually. Recently, those memories surfaced when a client told me that one of their senior staff members brought the now card game into an orientation lunch for a new senior staffer.
I feel like I JUST wrote one of these for our three-year, and again for our one-year. Guess what? We are now officially one of the few businesses that make it to FIVE years!
Looking back on the last five years is both exciting and a little sad. Exciting: We’ve done so much. We’ve reached over 25,000 students (and that was at the beginning of 2017!) we’ve expanded to additional locations, added classes, added teachers and friends and partners, worked with incredible clients, started a video series and just started prototyping activity cards. A little sad: We’ve had to pull classes for lower enrollment, we’ve held off on our LA location, we’ve lost a few great teachers and staff to other projects, pulled back from a video series and played a bit too safe with some risk.
Video series time! How do you greet conflict in your life? Do you avoid it, greet it head on, connect with it? We’re thinking all about conflict in this three-part series and how we can be better in situations that aren’t very fun – unless you are a drama queen. First, we’re going to think about what kind of person we are when we have a moment of conflict in life. Really ask yourself, ‘Self, how do I deal with conflict?’ Now, we aren’t talking about the knock-down, drag-out fights – we’re thinking about the level we have on a semi-regular basis. Everything from disagreements to misunderstandings, how do you connect?
Have your expectations not been met? Disappointed a lot? Maybe you aren’t managing or being clear with your expectations. This isn’t about unrealistic expectations – this is about being clear and concise regarding your expectations and communicating this information to the people that you are talking to or expecting things from. We can’t be expected to be mind readers! What ends up happening – miscommunications and errors because of a lack of clarity! Don’t just take our word for it – sit back, relax and let us know what you think!
BE YOURSELF! Welcome back for Part Three of Be Yourself: Make the Choice, Make it Happen! You’ve gone through parts one and two, you figured out your three things and you’ve paid attention to the ‘self’ you’ve been putting out there – now what? You have to make the choice to see if you want to work on the self that goes out there, or do you want to keep on keeping on. It’s up to YOU – if you want to put on another persona while you are talking to people, that’s your choice. If you want to start and continue to bring out your best self, start here. As always, sit back, enjoy, and let us know if you have any comments or questions!
BE YOURSELF! We’re back again with part two of our Be Yourself series – what aspects of you are YOU? We know that you are made up of a million wonderful things – what are the three traits that really make up who you are? And are those things you share with the outside world, or are you hiding things because people might misinterpret it, or you need to be seen in a certain way? We’re thinking about bringing that best self – so sit back, relax and enjoy! Let us know if you have any questions or comments for next week!