3 Must-Haves for Women Entrepreneurs

The face of entrepreneurship is changing in the United States. More and more women are taking the leap from employee to owner, and the number of women-owned businesses grew 74 percent between 1997 and 2015 – that’s one-and-a-half times the national average, according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.

During October, which is National Women’s Small Business Month, the small business sector was in the spotlight, leading many inspirational entrepreneurs and communities to ask, “What can we do to help you succeed?”

Interestingly enough, the answer hasn’t changed much over the years. Women, like the majority of small and medium business (SMB) owners, need a mix of three ingredients for success: community, capital and growth.

Community

When it comes to community, women have long been the gatekeepers. The same skills that organized neighborhood events and activities and led to the founding of women’s’ organizations in the 1970s continue to be crucial to the future of entrepreneurship.

Capital

No conversation about women entrepreneurs is complete without discussing the challenges and key developments pertaining to issues like women’s access to credit and cultural expectations that have, to a certain extent, limited many women’s ability to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. These uphill battles, which could, even today, become deterrents, have instead fostered new strengths and determination that are integral to business success.

Growth

In business, many would say if you’re not growing, you’re failing. When growth is the name of the game, it’s imperative to constantly seek new ways to succeed.  Technology is now integral to enabling SMBs to grow; ever more accessible and sophisticated technology continues to democratize the means to leverage solutions once relegated to large companies. More than ever, technology now delivers a level of flexibility and mobility that enables every female entrepreneur to define her own workstyle and lifestyle.

Microsoft’s Windows10 Pro operating system and Windows10 Pro devices play a prominent role in the ongoing transformation of small businesses to do great things. We’d like to offer you a free copy of the Windows 10 for Business Onboarding Kit (click here) to learn more about how Windows 10 Pro and new devices can help empower your business.

5 Reasons We Want You to Take the Entrepreneurial Plunge

Some women decide to start a business because they have an innovative product idea that fills a gap in the market or a service they can offer that is in high demand. We love it when women choose the entrepreneurial path because we know the power of feminine business leadership to change the world at large.

Regardless of the motivation, if you’re a woman considering entrepreneurship, here are a few reasons to get excited about taking the proverbial plunge:

Determination

Women are likely to be well-armed when it comes to the determination necessary to succeed at starting a business. Rutgers University includes determination in a list of necessary traits in prospective and burgeoning entrepreneurs, along with perseverance, curiosity, innovation, and fearlessness. They offer the example of Airbnb, which for many months apparently only made about $200 a week; the founders are now estimated to be worth over a billion dollars each.

Causes

There is a great deal of interest and momentum behind what’s known as “cause marketing,” at the moment. Forbes cites Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research in noting that “Women are 1.17 times more likely than men to create social ventures rather than only economic ventures, and 1.23 times more likely to pursue environmental ventures than economic-focused ventures.” Considering the current popularity of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability issues, women would be well-advised to pursue a business putting environmental conservation, energy efficiency, or social justice causes front and center.

There is now the existence of Certified B Corporations, certified by B Lab—who define B corporations as “for profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” A new interest in the triple bottom line of “profit-people-planet” is making B Corps especially appealing to a younger generation interested in supporting causes that value sustainability and economic equity. The new prominence of B corps should be especially motivating to women interested in starting forward-thinking businesses concerned with contributing to the social good.

Support

There are better support networks in place in 2016 than ever before. SAP mentions a few noteworthy organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners, Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and Aspect Ventures as examples of organizations or companies interested in fostering and supporting female-run companies. There are even more resources accessible online that offer a number of tools, words of advice, and support services to women looking to start their own business. And of course, Emerging Women and Emerging Women Live offer stellar opportunities to get inspired and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and investors.

Investment

It doesn’t cost as much money as you might think, at first. In fact, according to Intuit, “The majority (64%) of small business owners start with less than $10,000.”  That’s great news to those of us on a budget—which, let’s face it, is most of us. One way to make the process more painful is to start your business on the side, rather than quitting your job and hoping for the best. That way, you have a bit more breathing room to settle in and figure out which aspects of the business need adjustment or revision before full-launch. Entrepreneur offers a list of affordable business ideas to get you started, in case you’re at a loss for reliable options that are also on the frugal side.

However, if you are willing to shoot for more capital with which to start your business—especially if your business happens to be tech-based—Mackenzie Burnett put together a list of female angel and early-stage investors in tech. It helps immensely to tap into female-run investment firms, since for whatever reason many male investors are still biased against female entrepreneurs. Look into Broadway Angels, whose founder, Sonja Perkins, was recently interviewed by Fortune.

Independence

The last and perhaps most significant reason to start your own business is because of more independence and greater money-making potential. Many women want to start a family or would simply prefer to be their own boss than be forced to put up with traditional male-dominated hierarchies in a more traditional office setting. There is a great deal of marketing and business-based interaction that can take place online, now, as well—as opposed to in person or with the luxury of a brick-and-mortar office location. The traditional overhead costs simply don’t exist, when you work remotely or from a home-based office. And being in charge of your own business means you get to set your own rates or prices, which can feel empowering!

Make no mistake: setting out on your own can feel intimidating, and it probably won’t be easy. Set goals for yourself, and don’t be afraid to share your idea with the world. You have most of the resources you need, and you can find the ones you’re missing with the support and collaboration of your fellow females.

Forming a concrete image of your future entrepreurial success can keep you motivated when the going gets tough. Try this guided visualization from Right-Brain Business Plan author Jennifer Lee to connect with your future success:


Emerging Women Power Night – June 22, 2016

Emerging Women Power Night

Power Night Boulder will explore the dimensions of living the truth of who we are through feminine power. You will experience real connection, intentional circles, speakers, book signings, live poetry and groove.

The line-up for this event is awesomely inspirational – featuring Tami Simon, Nancy Levin, Azure Antoinette, Lisa Wimberger, Kim Coupounas, Leslie Herod and Colleen Abdoulah — all successful visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and creatives who are trailblazing a new way of influencing positive change in the world.

Expect personal stories of what fuels these women and how they were able to achieve uncompromising success by living the truth of who they are.

  • WHEN: June 22, 2016 TIME: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
  • WHERE: eTOWN HALL / 1535 Spruce Street / Boulder, CO 80302
  • FEATURING: Tami Simon, Azure Antoinette, Nancy Levin, Lisa Wimberger, Kim Coupounas, Leslie Herod, Colleen Abdoulah and Chantal Pierrat
  • REGISTRATION LINK HERE
  • COST: 
    • $45 Networking Reception plus General Admission (includes a networking reception before the main event – enjoy light appetizers and drinks with display tables from local sponsors)
    • OR $35 General Admission Only

Networking Reception Starts: 5:00pm

General Admission Doors Open: 5:30pm

General Admission Event Start: 6:00pm

Event End: 9:00pm

Check out an Emerging Women Power Night from San Francisco:

Speakers

simon_t__c_stephen_collector_08Tami Simon is the founder of Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company dedicated to disseminating spiritual wisdom. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Sounds True has published more than 800 audio, video, music, and book titles along with online courses and events. Sounds True is widely recognized as a pioneer in providing life-changing, practical tools that accelerate spiritual awakening and personal transformation. As a pioneer in the conscious business movement, Tami focuses on bringing authenticity and heart into the workplace while honoring multiple bottom lines. Tami hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today’s leading teachers, delving deeply into their discoveries and personal experiences on their own journeys. With Sounds True, she has released the audio program Being True: What Matters Most in Work, Life, and Love.

Called “the Maya Angelou of the Millennial generation,” Azure Antoinette is a poet, brand humanist and creative strategist. Antoinette coined herself as a Commissioned Poet in 2008 and was firmly committed to finding a way to live out her mantra of “Do What You Love & Love What You Do.” In her crusade to be authentically committed to her medium of poetry, she has forged creative partnerships with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, worldwide brands, and national organizations by using her unique talent to curate and custom write the story of a brand.

Nancy Levin Nancy Levin is the bestselling author of Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, Writing For My Life, and the forthcoming Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth (Hay House, August 2016.) She’s a Certified Master Integrative Life Coach and the creator of the Jump Coaching and Worthy Coaching Programs, working with clients – privately and in groups – to live in alignment with their own truth and desires. She was the Event Director at Hay House for 12 years and hosts her own weekly call-in show Jump Start Your Life on Hay House Radio. Nancy received her MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and she continues to live in the Rocky Mountains.

Lisa Wimberger is the founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Stonybrook, NY, a Foundations Certification in NeuroLeadership and a certificate in Medical Neuroscience. She is the author of NEW BELIEFS, NEW BRAIN: Free Yourself from Stress and Fear, and NEUROSCULPTING: A Whole-Brain Approach to Heal Trauma, Rewrite Limiting Beliefs, and Find Wholeness. As the Founder of the Neurosculpting® modality Lisa runs a private meditation practice in Colorado teaching clients who suffer from stress disorders, and she is a faculty member of Kripalu Yoga and Meditation Center, Omega Institute, and the Law Enforcement Survival Institute.

Panel 

Move the People: Changing the World through Connected Leadership

Kim Kim Coupounas serves as a Director of B Lab, a nonprofit organization that certifies “B Corporations” and serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Prior to B Lab, Kim co-founded and served as CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer of GoLite, a global mission-driven outdoor apparel and equipment company. She currently serves on the Harvard Business School Alumni Board, the boards of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the Center for Social Responsibility at the Leeds School of Business, and as a Mentor/Advisor for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, the Unreasonable Institute, Boomtown, and numerous other startup accelerators and incubators.  She earned an A.B. Cum Laude in Philosophy from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Among her deep passions are spending time with her family, trail running, hiking, singing, doing yoga and martial arts, drinking great wine and climbing big mountains.

Colleen Abdoulah Colleen Abdoulah, who was the only female CEO to lead a top-ten cable operating company, is widely respected for her passionate focus on customer experience and company culture. Colleen guided WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone for 12 years, overseeing industry-leading financial success and creating unprecedented value for employees and shareholders. During her tenure, WOW! quadrupled the customer base served, from 200,000+ to more than 800,000 with revenues of over $1.2B. Under Colleen’s leadership, WOW! earned a remarkable 19 J.D. Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction, multiple top-provider awards from Consumer Reports, and the PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for top cable Internet service provider. She is equally proud of the many awards WOW! received as an employer, including recognition as a 2012 and 2013 National Best and Brightest Companies to Work For winner.


Leslie Herod is the progressive candidate running for State House of Representatives District 8. She is passionate about making a difference in the community through advocacy and civic engagement. Raised by a single mother who was an officer in the Army Nurse Corps, she learned the importance of discipline, hard work and commitment to public service. After more than 10 years of experience working with local and state legislators, Leslie currently owns her own small business that focuses on strengthening community relationships. Leslie is a community champion who will proactively address our disparities in our education system, reforming our criminal justice system and tackling affordable housing challenges within the state.

Chantal PierratChantal Pierrat‘s passion is to empower women through feminine leadership. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women and Emerging Women Live in order to support the integration of consciousness and business. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses. When she is not dancing or working, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.

Thank You to Our Sponsors power_night_sponsors

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to:

Emerging Women exists to support and inspire women to express themselves authentically through the work that they do. We strive to provide the tools, knowledge, and network to help women lead, start and grow their businesses in a way that integrates core feminine values like connection, collaboration, intimacy, beauty and heart. We provide a platform for leaders and entrepreneurs to come together to explore and express their inner truths. It is our ultimate desire that women have a strong voice in the shaping of our world’s future. Join us for our 4th annual Emerging Women Live event October 13-16, 2016 in San Francisco, CA.

10 Key Words for Mindful Leadership

Women leaders are faced with numerous challenges in their careers. No matter what type of work you do, it can sometimes be difficult to sort through all the “small stuff” that naturally rolls across your desk, while staying focused on the larger goals you want to reach.

We all hope to be mindful leaders in order to cultivate an atmosphere that will inspire us and others. As an independent business owner, I have learned through experience to make sure I include 10 key elements when planning my work day.  This keeps me mindful of my mission, and happy while I work.

Looking

As you set your daily schedule and map out your calendar of dreams, be prepared to meet all your daily challenges by putting these 10 key words into practice:

Focus

Start out your day with quiet time. Take 5 to 10 minutes after you wake up to relax and listen to your inner self. Before you jump into the tasks of the coming day, remember to begin quietly and stay in tune with your inner consciousness. Some people try meditation or yoga, while others just need to relax and be quiet. This is the key to a stress free day.

Organize

Make time to organize. Plan out your schedule in a way that is both realistic and ambitious. Divide your time into larger segments to keep you focused on the big picture. Then divide up those tasks with smaller goals. Keep in mind, your schedule should include flexibility for the unexpected things. Focus on ways to stay organized, and reduce the clutter on your desk. A clean and well organized workspace can help you stay motivated and inspired.

Work

This describes the part of your day where you do what you love, and expect to complete the tasks you start. Think about what you really want to accomplish with your day. Dive in and do what you do best. Have no fear as you take on both expected and unexpected events. Your work should bring you satisfaction more than anything else. Love what you do, and remember to make mental notes of your own efforts and accomplishments. Pat yourself on the back for the things you do well.

Enjoy

Make time every day for small moments of enjoyment. Find the joy in small things. Reward yourself in tiny ways when you reach a small goal. Take a breath from your hard work to unwind, even if only for a few minutes. Carry on with a positive attitude, fueled by self-awareness, generosity and gratitude.  Life is for living, and living means enjoying life. See the value in having some fun throughout your day as you work.

Act

Be bold. Drive yourself forward toward your goals. Be the powerful leader that you are and the confident woman that you have become. Lead. Inspire. Act on your instincts. And most of all, trust yourself to do the things that come naturally to you. Know and apply your talents in the best way you know how. Make your dreams happen. Walk the talk. Don’t hold back.

Connect

Connect to others. Be aware of everyone around you, and build relationships in the way that only you can. Make the connections you need to allow everything you want to accomplish happen. Build your personal (as well as online) connections into a network of people who support you, believe in you and are ready to help you do all the things you want to do. Use your knowledge as power to connect and stay connected.

Exercise

Take time to exercise. This doesn’t have to mean hardcore workouts – just regular exercise. Never skip a day. Take breaks and stretch. Go for short walks. Climb stairs whenever you can. Do what you enjoy doing, such as running, bike riding, doing sit-ups or dancing. Daily exercise is not only one of the most crucial ways to stay healthy, but to improve your energy and brain power. Getting physical is part of the larger picture of taking care of yourself so you can be your best.

Nourish

Even when you are busy, remember to eat healthy. Don’t cut corners when it comes to your own health.  In general, you will feel better if you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and stay away from soda, too much caffeine and foods high in sugar. Stick to a healthy diet and avoid overeating. Eat small amounts more often, rather than just 3 large meals. Eating healthy foods that are high in protein will make you feel better and have more energy.

Dream

Make time each day for the important act of dreaming. Try to avoid fixating on every little thing that is racing through your thoughts. Quiet your mind and visualize your loftiest goals coming true. Allow yourself to imagine for a moment the satisfaction of reaching your goals. Dream often and dream big! Don’t hold back on imagining your greatest aspirations. Take time to sit back and dream of what you really want.

Relax

Finding time to relax is majorly important to your brain and physical well being. There are many ways to relax, so find one that works for you. You could relax with your favorite music, turn the lights down low, take a hot bath or sauna or lay on the floor with a towel covering your eyes. Let yourself slow down and enjoy the feeling of releasing any built up stress that can damage your health. Make sure you get enough rest. If you have trouble sleeping, you may need to explore sleep enhancing alternatives. Try meditating, doing yoga, getting a massage or whatever you need to do. Relaxing even for a few minutes periodically during the day will help reduce your stress and keep your energy flowing in a positive direction.

When you include these 10 key words for being a mindful leader in your daily routine, you can have a happier and healthier day which will prepare you for new adventures – leading you closer to realizing all your dreams!


karen>Karen is a free-spirited writer, photographer, and artist from Boise, ID. She loves exploring nature, taking photographs and writing stories about real people who do amazing things. She is the proud mother of 3 wonderful grown children and grandmother of two. She is a risk-taker, adventurer, traveler, sometimes hermit and sometimes social butterfly. She has high aspirations about living her dreams and she believes anything is possible.

7 Habits of Highly Resilient Women

In 2011, George S. Everly, executive director of Resiliency Sciences Institutes at the University of Maryland, was asked, “What’s the difference between those who choose to sink or swim in times of adversity?” He stated two factors:

  1. A lack of perspective stemming from inadequate preparation and tenacity.
  2. A negative attitude.

He further explained that resilience can be taught and self-esteem can be earned through personal accomplishment in the face of a challenge. Resilient women are not brought down by challenges or setbacks; instead they thrive on them because it brings new learnings and new opportunities.

Modeling these 7 habits of resilient women will create tenacity and build your resilience muscle:

1. They have a routine and plan ahead

There’s a formula known as the 2C’s – Commitment and Consistency. Commitment comes from being 100% responsible for any slip-ups, decisions or actions and knowing that you’ll give it all while still being in harmony with oneself. Consistency occurs when you’ve decided to create a daily, weekly or monthly practice that will help you along your journey. Without consistency, commitment can become lost and without commitment, consistency doesn’t follow through. Resilient women become successful by focusing on one or two goals a year and using this formula to achieve their goal.

2. They approach challenges with flexibility

When something doesn’t work, do you tend to give up after the first try and think you’ve failed? When you view a challenge and come up with several different ways to handle it, that demonstrates flexibility. Finding different methods to overcome a challenge keeps a person more in control of the situation. Having only one strategy is inadequate preparation.

3. They embrace failure as a setback and move on

When you focus on your failures, you dwell on the past and the problems you experienced, which in turn, drives the fear of failure even deeper. Resilient women do not view failure as failure; instead they view it as a learned outcome. Why? It has three purposes: First, it stops the fear of failure in its tracks; second, viewing it as learned outcome allows one to analyze the lessons from past experience; and third, putting the lesson to positive use later on leads to the creation of new possibilities and outcomes.

4. They know what they are passionate about and make it their purpose

You can’t have passion without purpose, and you can’t have purpose without passion. Resilient women thrive on their passion and purpose, and never get tired of working on it. Your passion lights the fire in your belly while your purpose helps you channel that passion so you feel fulfilled. A great resource for discovering your passion and life purpose is The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood. Take their free assessment here.

5. They know how to let go

Embracing change and having realistic optimism are a resilient woman’s trademarks because they understand that change is inevitable and what worked today may not work tomorrow. They will let go the old and bring in the new if it becomes necessary for their business or life. Therefore, understanding that life will bring sudden changes and obstacles is the first step, but facing these obstacles and knowing that you have the coping skills to continue moving forward is equally important.

6. They have a strong sense of appreciation while feeling challenged

Resilient women feel overwhelmed and worried too, but they have two streams of thought running through their minds: one is about finding solutions and the other is about all the things they appreciate in life. It’s as though there’s a subconscious REFRAME button they push whenever their thoughts and emotions turn to worry and fear, because after a short time, they’ve perked up and are more positive and appreciative about what they already have.

7. They have excellent communication skills

Think of a leader or manager whom you admire and notice how he or she interacts with you or with others at all levels in the company or when networking. You will notice that she’s listening to your words and your communication style and communicates back in your style. She’s looking for the underlying reason behind your communication so she can relate to you. She’s also subconsciously picking up on your body language and tone of voice and mirrors it. These communication skills come naturally to resilient women because they want to create rapport with you.


Zaheen Nanji is a resilience champion and a business owner in Alberta, Canada.  Embracing change and fear is Zaheen’s trademark because she overcame her speech impediment, her struggles with weight and learned to live in a new country, at the age of 15, without her parents. Her book, The Resilience Reflex – 8 Keys to Transforming Barriers into Success in Life and Business, became an International Best-Seller on Amazon Kindle. Zaheen teaches people how to make resilience their first reflex using her 3-step system: Release, Re-program and Resolve. 

Our Top 9 Fave Wisdom Quotes from Emerging Women Live 2015 Power Talks

If you loved our Emerging Women Live 2015 keynote speakers, don’t miss the wisdom from our Emerging Short talks, too. These power talks let us hear from a diverse group of women who are positively using their feminine leadership to change the world. We’ve sifted through our notes and gathered our top nine favorite quotes.

Be sure to catch these brilliant women on the live stream archive, which will be available for replay until Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015.

 

  1. Vicki Saunders (Founder of SheEO)

“We (as women) have not been at the table for designing this world. We need to be there for VERSION 2.0. We all need to redesign this world desperately.” twitter

 

  1. Wokie Nwabueze(Founder of Women Prepared to Lead)

wokie-nwabueze

“When you can become enchanted by who you are, when you can forgive the part of you that betrayed you, then you will be seen and heard and nothing less than captivating.” twitter

 

  1. Promise Phelon (CEO of TapInfluence)

promisephelon

“Grit is the sand that is exfoliating the path of where you want to go.” twitter

 

  1. Anese Cavanaugh (Creator of IEP Method)

“People often think it is the doing that is going to impact, what actually is more powerful is our presence.” twitter

 

  1. Neha Sangwan, MD(Founder of Intuitive Intelligence and Author of TalkRx)

neha sangwan

“It’s impossible to prove something to others that you don’t believe yourself.” twitter

 

  1. Johanna Jackman (Senior Director at LinkedIn)

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“Vulnerability plus tenacity – they are the platform for being truly authentic.” twitter

 

  1. Natalia Oberti Noguera (Founder/CEO of Pipeline Angel Fellowship)

natalia-update

“Privilege is like oxygen, you don’t know it is there until it is gone.” twitter

 

  1. Guru Jagat (founder of the RA MA Institute)

guru-jagat

“It’s important for us to train our mind to consolidate our energy, so that we then can use that energy for a true revolution.” twitter

 

  1. Sahar Paz (Author, Speaker and Life Coach)

“Don’t let your shero cape, become a veil.” twitter

Can KonMari transform your business?

Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

I have to chant this as a mantra a few times before it starts to sink in. I seem to be a magnet for not only things but also experiences – gobbling up both in order to keep things alive and moving. Ah, but that is the irony: a life packed with objects and activities actually slows me down. Big time.

When I first became an entrepreneur, sticky notes were on every flat surface in my home and car. I met with so many people I could barely remember my own name. I was adrift in an endless sea of opportunities, connections, and partnerships. It was impossible to stay prioritized and selective with my time. My life and mind quickly became, well, a mess.

Then I discovered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a small book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing that has already sold 2 million copies. This is not the standard “neurotic-perfectionist-with-OCD-tendencies-illustrates-just-how-far-I-am-from-remotely-achieving-an-organized-life” declutter book.

Tidying Up is almost spiritual – a perspective on keeping house that reaches far beyond the physical environment. It’s not just a method, but a worldview that cultivates deep personal insight and real resilience in all areas of life – especially business.

The KonMari Method presented in Tidying Up really is life-changing because it allows room for clarity around who I am and what I want, and that’s the secret sauce to becoming an inspired leader.

So out go the bags and bags of clutter from my home and office. And it feels good! Thinking about giving it a try? Here’s 5 reasons you (and your business) will be glad you did.

 

KonMari Tip #1: “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”

I notice that the more clutter I have in my life and business, the more it distracts me from my greatest power source: ME. When clutter sprawls out of control, it captures more and more of my attention until I am spending way too much time managing my space. I feel heavy, distracted and completely disconnected from my intuition and inner wisdom. All that noise makes me lose my way as I become reactive to the clutter rather than proactive with my deepest vision.

Business Tip: Staying connected to your inner knowing is easier when your life and mind are free of clutter.

KonMari Tip #2: “There are 3 approaches we can take toward our possessions:  Face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.”

Still hanging on to letters from high school boyfriends, a gazillion drawings from your kids, or papers from business school that you will NEVER refer back to? I do it, too. I accumulate stashes of old baby stuff that might come in handy when I’m a grandparent (my kids are 8 and 5!), endless computer wires and electronic equipment that might magically become useful again at some point, and countless clothes that are a few sizes too small for when I get back into that “skinny” phase.

According to KonMari, people hang on to their stuff because they are either still attached to the past or they have a fear of the future — or both. Getting rid of the things that don’t serve me keeps me in the present moment by letting me process my past and move on into my future.

Business Tip: Don’t hang on to your mistakes – thank them and move on. Staying streamlined in this way allows you to pivot easily and efficiently through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

KonMari Tip #3: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

For so long women have forced our desires out of our bodies and minds in the name of serving others. As we begin to understand that there is room for both service and our desires, getting clear on what we want has never been more important.

What I love about Marie’s approach is that she doesn’t make tidying the end game of life. She may be a tiny bit obsessive (her “shock” at seeing socks tucked into themselves made me wonder), but she knows that a tidy house is a means to a more important end. “The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order,” she says. My read: If you are searching for your purpose in life – throw some shit out!

Business Tip: Discarding what is not working for you in your business life allows your vision to become more clear.

KonMari Tip #4: “Selecting and discarding one’s possessions is a continuous process of making decisions based on one’s own values.”

The act of tidying up your physical space is actually thousands of micro decisions about how you want to live your life. The golden questions: Does this make you happy? Does it bring you joy? When you continuously make decisions based on this criteria, you get better and better at surrounding yourself with things that reflects your desires and values.

I am one month into the process (she says that it takes 6 months for your entire living space), and I am already noticing a difference not only in my home, but in all areas of my life and business.

Business Tip: Making decisions on what to keep and discard in your life builds confidence and aptitude for making decisions in your business.

KonMari Tip #5: “The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”

Finally, what I love best about Marie’s approach is that she encourages me to thank all of the items that I throw away. So I do! I thank them for their service before sending them on their way. This helps to punctuate the transition to a life more in line with what I really want.

I use the same approach in my business with all of the “mistakes” I have made along the way. Instead of hanging on and over-processing a failure, I thank the experience for its tenure in my life, and free myself to focus on what is going right.

Business Tip: Appreciate where you are now and all of the events (good and bad) that have led you to this point. Gratitude for your more challenging experiences makes you a better leader without all of that bulky psychological baggage holding you back.

For me, the way back to my inner wisdom is to turn off the noise, get rid of the clutter and give myself the gift of less.

Does the KonMari Method work for you? How do you bring these principles to your life? Please let us know in the comments section.

Why I Had to Elope, and Would Do It Again

On Instagram, #weddingplanning boasts nearly 500,000 posts. Pinterest has thousands of boards dedicated to “wedding inspiration.” You’ve seen them, right?

Have you seen how a quick Google search reveals countless articles on the average cost of a wedding last year and how the more expensive a wedding is the higher chance of divorce?

My husband, Aaron, and I skipped the bridal magazines and eloped a few weeks ago, in a tiny ceremony officiated by a close friend with just a handful of witnesses. There was little planning, no hashtagging (we decided to unplug for the weekend), and no disappointments, as we had set no expectations. There was laughter and authentic connection amongst the few friends invited, and it was easy and very inexpensive.

As the bride, and as a young woman who is emerging, my desire to elope stems from a strong disagreement with the gendered notions of what a bride should be, and the patriarchal, consumerist framework of which weddings are built upon.

I wanted to direct the time, energy, and money that goes into a wedding to things that actually matter to me in life. At this point in time, that means starting my own business with my husband and best friend from college, working for a few start-ups and supporting the expansion of a Bolivian NGO. My husband’s reply is: “Ain’t nobody got time to get married when they’re busy changing the world!” I couldn’t agree more.

“Ain’t nobody got time to get married when they’re busy changing the world!”

When I said “yes,” the course we set as a couple was intentional. As conscious millennials, we both knew we wanted something simple and fun. We didn’t want anything with a fiscal note that would hinder our entrepreneurial dreams (which had yet to come to fruition at the time of our engagement, but ideas were swirling around in our heads).

Blissfully engaged, we carried on with our lives. In efforts to solidify our entrepreneurial desires, and quench our wanderlust (we both are avid travelers), we quit our jobs and took off for South America for some much needed soul-searching and change of scenery. As we traveled, we casually shrugged off questions about marriage from friends and family, stating, “We’re too busy traveling to plan anything.” Which was true. We were busy learning Spanish, making friends, exploring, volunteering and dreaming up business ideas.

Spending time together abroad was critical for us as a couple. Our consciousness and understanding of the world were challenged, tested, and transformed.

When we returned to the US, we were even more inspired to start our own business, so we channeled all energy into replenishing our bank accounts. We also became consumed by  helping expand a Bolivian NGO we had worked with, and began to plant the seeds for a small social enterprise endeavor. We explored new areas of interest. We confronted fears about finances and business plans, and comforted each other in times of post-travel anxiety (like when I had a full-on consumerist meltdown in a big box store in Chicago).

When we decided to actually elope, we kept it secret to avoid getting distracted from our work. In planning it, we used the same values as when we took the plunge into starting our own business – we focused on community, human connection and supporting the local.

We leveraged our favorite resources that have continually enriched our lives here in the US and abroad. We rented a venue from Airbnb that would host us and 6 of our best friends for a long relaxing weekend. We found a young, aspiring, local photographer on Craigslist who wanted to build his portfolio to capture our event, and Siri helped us find a local bakery to get a cake the day of. We wrote the ceremony and our respective vows on a shared Google doc a few weeks out (in between meetings), and found the perfect spot for our ceremony on the edge of a cliff by simply asking the Airbnb hosts for a suggestion upon our arrival.

I never once stepped foot into a bridal shop. Time was never wasted picking out placemats, organizing a seating arrangement or trolling the endless pages of theknot.com (which I had never heard of before writing this). I simply didn’t want an entire year of my life to be consumed by one day. We exchanged vows with ease and smiles, our hearts happy and full.

At the end of the day, any day, I want to be part of something bigger and more important than wearing an expensive dress and doing the electric slide.

Hannah Faust is the social media manager for Emerging Women, a digital marketer, emerging entrepreneur, and helps run Cochabamba Pedal Project with her husband. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado.

Come connect with Hannah and the rest of the Emerging Women inner circle at Emerging Women Live 2015:

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Demystifying the Money: Women Investors & Investing in Women

>As we increase our leadership reach in all areas of our society, it is essential for women to understand how we can harness financial resources to help us actualize our vision for change.

At Emerging Women Live, we will be uncovering ways for women to jump into the existing investment structures, as well as ways to use our collective emerging power to create new possibilities around global money distribution and management.

Meet the members of EWlive14’s panel discussion “Demystifying the Money,” concerning the rapidly changing trends of women investors and business leaders – women who are earning, raising and investing money to reflect deliberate action and greater influence in our world.

1. Adaora Udoji – Interim President of News Deeply

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Adaora Udoji is currently Interim President of the award-winning startup News Deeply; specializing in single topic publishing while providing enabling technology to engage users on complex global issues. It’s her latest adventure in entrepreneurship after founding The Boshia Group, an international network of strategists, advisors, operational specialists, content developers and producers. The Group provides content and project management, as well as editorial and production frameworks serving clients such as startups, new media and tech companies; law and investment firms.

Adaora is also a lawyer and an award-winning storyteller who has worked across broadcast and digital media platforms: television, cable, radio, and the internet. Her roles have included corporate strategist, producer, on-air correspondent and anchor at Bloomberg, ABC News, CNN and public radio. The National Academy of Arts & Sciences recognized her reporting of the Afghanistan war. Essence Magazine named her one of the 25 most influential African-Americans.

In an interview with AlleyWatch, Adaora was asked, “If you could fix one thing in the startup ecosystem right now, what would it be?”  She answered, “To see it flooded with women, women and more women – both as entrepreneurs and investors.”

“To see it flooded with women, women and more women – both as entrepreneurs and investors.”

2. Amanda Steinberg – Founder of Daily Worth

Amanda Steinberg is the founder of DailyWorth, the leading financial media company for women. Steinberg is a thought­leader on the topic of women and money, working to advance women’s financial confidence and wealth.

Amanda is an engineer by training, a media executive by profession, and a serial optimist at heart. DailyWorth serves millions of women monthly via its daily newsletters and Website focused on money and career advice.

Amanda says, “The stories women tell themselves about money have perpetuated the idea of money being a source of stress for women … [We need to] see it as access to freedom and choices in our lives, not as a source of anxiety.”

“We need to see it as access to freedom and choices in our lives, not as a source of anxiety.”

3. Kesha Cash – Partner and Director of Investments at Impact America

edited-Kesha-Cash-PicKesha Cash is a Partner and Director of Investments at Impact America, an early-stage equity fund that invests in high growth companies that aim to generate real financial returns while improving the well-being of underserved communities and creating quality jobs in America.

Impact America Fund is the evolution of Jalia Ventures, a three-year minority-focused impact investing initiative Kesha launched and executed with the support and collaboration of leading investors, accelerators, community organizations, university programs, and industry experts across the country.

Kesha’s passion for social responsibility is apparent in her vision for the future: “We identify as one human race and deeply consider the impact of our actions on other human beings, the environment and future generations.”

“We identify as one human race and deeply consider the impact of our actions on other human beings, the environment and future generations.”

4. Fran Hauser – Angel Investor and Partner at Rothenberg Ventures

Fran HauserFran Hauser is an angel investor, digital media veteran and an advocate for women and kids. She is passionate about connecting people and inspiring change.

An active investor, Fran is a partner at Rothenberg Ventures. Before diving into the world of venture capital, Fran spent 15 years in the digital media space, holding President and General Manager positions at Time Inc., AOL and Moviefone. She played an integral role in the $400mm sale of Moviefone to AOL and in building PEOPLE.com into one of the most successful women’s websites.

Fran is a funder of the PBS documentary Half the Sky, Board Chair of GlobalGiving and an advisory board member of Helpusadopt.

Her advice as a mentor shows she knows the power of leveraging our feminine strengths. She says, “One of the best ways to get into a dream company is to develop relationships with the people who work there.”

“One of the best ways to get into a dream company is to develop relationships with the people who work there.”

 5. Vicki Saunders – Founder of SheEO

Vicki is a serial entrepreneur, passionate mentor and advisor to the next generation of change makers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world.

Vicki is founder of SheEO, a program for women entrepreneurs that supports the next generation of women-led social ventures to lead from their strengths on their own terms.

Vicki is also co-founder of WhatsNext, a global network of leading entrepreneurial talent focused on solving major challenges for business, education, NGOs and governmental institutions.

We very much agree with Vicki when she says, “We’re moving towards a post-hero world where the greatest challenges will require multiple people collaborating to solve.”

“We’re moving towards a post-hero world where the greatest challenges will require multiple people collaborating to solve.”

Fellow Emerging Woman Nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year!

We are so pleased to hear that Brook Eddy, founder and CEO of Bhakti Chai, has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Brook and Bhakti Chai have partnered with Emerging Women from the beginning, so we can attest firsthand to her desire to use the success she’s created to empower women and girls worldwide.

“Honored doesn’t quite grasp the thrill and mania associated with being a finalist in such a prestigious national contest,” Brook says. “It feels like just yesterday I was a struggling single mother wishing for a better life standing over my steaming homemade chai. Thankfully, a magical network of women colleagues and female friends encouraged me to take the leap of faith and have been supporting and inspiring me to manifest my dreams of being an entrepreneur ever since.”

“Thankfully, a magical network of women colleagues and female friends encouraged me to take the leap of faith and have been supporting and inspiring me to manifest my dreams of being an entrepreneur ever since.”twitter

Brook’s passion, vision and authenticity shine through in the video on her voting page. Watch here to get inspired by Brook’s commitment to sustainability, fair trade and giving back, and then vote for your fellow emerging woman for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014!

Emerging Entrepreneurs – #EmergingNow

Dear Friends,

So many of us have felt the call to create new ways forward in this world, ways that support the depth of who we are as conscious women. At work, at home, we want to feel that we are using our energy and resources in a way that creates meaningful success, not only for ourselves but for as many others as possible.

Entrepreneurship is proving itself to be a fantastic way to tailor careers authentic to our individual passions, skills and values. How many of you have chosen this path? It takes a huge amount of courage to set off into uncharted territory – there’s no shortage of fears to be faced as an entrepreneur – but the rewards, both spiritually and financially, have the potential to be more than we could have ever envisioned. Continue reading “Emerging Entrepreneurs – #EmergingNow”

Walking Our Unique Paths

At Emerging Women, we passionately believe that listening to the stories of successful business leaders helps us realize our own potential and possibility as we emerge. Below is the story of how our friend, Kathy Krumpe, VP of Operations for Future State Inc., was inspired to tailor a career that allowed her to live her truth. There are so many ways to go about crafting a life of authenticity and meaning. What are the necessary components for you?

Finding A Work Culture That Is True To Me

Kathy Krumpe

As we prepare for Emerging Women Live in October, I have been reflecting about Emerging Women’s tagline, “Live the Truth of Who You Are.” How does this resonate with my personal life and support my growth into a stronger leader?

I’ve spent 12 out of my 19-year career with Future State in many roles, ranging from project management, talent development, operations, marketing and strategic leadership. I left for a bit to travel the world, try new opportunities and spend more time with my children. I came back to Future State as it’s been an amazing anchor in my life. Why? Because it offered me:

1. leaders who support me bringing my true self to the workplace;
2. a corporate culture that shares my same professional and personal values;
3. a culture that not only allows me to bring forward my various talents, but actually requires it for the business overall to thrive.

Starting out my career, I quickly was inspired by the founder of Future State (back when our name was TechProse), a remarkable woman named Meryl Natchez. Meryl is a talented writer with a passion for technology. As she witnessed Silicon Valley’s rise, she knew she had something to contribute to the companies that were shaping this new land of innovation. But she wanted to contribute in a way that brought out people’s unique offerings, values and cultures.

Combining talent and entrepreneurial spirit, Meryl quickly built a consulting firm providing writing, communications, strategic change management, and learning and development solutions with a focus on the people side of transformation. She believed in core founding principles of strong female leadership, being of service to each other and clients, passionate problem-solving, ethics, trust and relationship.

Thirty years later, the company Meryl founded thrives, thanks to her founding principles. My professional career has grown alongside Future State’s because our culture ensures that I live my truth at work. We help clients solve operational transformation challenges impacting many thousands of people worldwide. We’re helping companies as they create cancer fighting solutions; designing leadership programs that foster a new generation of emotionally intelligent, compassionate leaders worldwide; and supporting businesses in developing internet operating systems that connect the world.

To make this happen for clients, I have to bring my authentic self to the table every single day. Client success doesn’t happen if I don’t.

“I have to bring my authentic self to the table every single day. Client success doesn’t happen if I don’t.”twitter

I’m now a member of the second generation of women leadership at Future State. My colleagues and I are excited to support and prepare new leaders through internship programs and talent strategies that give the same space, voice and value to the next generation of women leaders.

At the conference in October, I’m eager to learn from all of you about how you are walking your unique path and living the truth of who you are.