Monday, December 18, 2017

Make Your Team Thrive in 2018

Yes, it's doable:  you can start a business and have a baby at the same time.

When Caitlin Zaino, Founder of Porter & Sail, a hospitality company, was expecting her first child, she was desperate find an example of another female founder who’d juggled childbirth and running a startup.  She found the role model she was looking for in Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp, who shared this advice.

“Everyone wants to think that they are the most important person in an organization but the team still thrives, if you’ve done your job well, all should move forward.”

So when the time came, Caitlin took time off, wanting to show that it was more than OK for anyone — even the founder — to take time away for a new baby.

Read more about how you can strike out on your own, start a new company, grow the economy, and have a baby.

Monday, December 11, 2017

WEGG Enables Global Growth for Women Business Owners

Laurel Delaney writes for the WPO blog:
Women-owned firms that export,” reports the White House Council on Women and Girls, “not only earn more but employ more people and are, on average, more productive than women-owned firms that do not.”  But estimates show that only 12 percent of women-owned SMEs in the U.S. export.  Either women do not think they have what it takes to export or they lack the appropriate support, such as training, education, and advisory networks.
Solutions are available.  Visit Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global

WEGG is a proud partner to the Women Presidents' Organization

Monday, December 04, 2017

Fire Clients Who Hold You Back

I am a big fan of Marshall Goldsmith and this article is one of my favorites because it rings true on so many levels for me.  The biggest nugget in the article below is how toxic relationships -- whether a client, customer, employee, boss or group -- can hold you back.

Which relationships should you continue to develop, and which should you gently let go? In business, Goldsmith recommends that customers be referred elsewhere (fired) when they do these six different things.

The bottom line is that it isn't terribly hard to cut ties with people or groups who bring you down.  And when you do, you lead a more stress-free and healthy life.  And that can only be a good outcome.

Monday, November 27, 2017

When It Comes to Women Business Owners and Babies, VCs Ignore Them

The struggles of a breast-pump startup underscore venture capitalists blind spot when it comes to women and babies.
Venture capitalists, however, do not appear to share my [author at The New Yorker magazine] enthusiasm for breast-pump #disruption, perhaps because the industry is ninety-three per cent male. 
Read more about why mothers who are business owners don't seem to be worth anything to venture capitalists.

Screenshot: Medela

Monday, November 20, 2017

Stand Like a Rock

©2017 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 13, 2017

Inspiring Quotes from Women Business Owners and Leaders

As Sara Blakely (pictured), founder of Spanx says, "Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else."

Discover other inspiring quotes from women business owners and leaders.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Making the U.S. Tax Code Fairer to Women Entrepreneurs

With Congress putting the finishing touches on a tax plan that’s aimed at overhauling the system, there is one other reform Caroline Bruckner thinks they should consider: making the U.S. tax code fairer to women entrepreneurs.
Currently, federal tax incentives targeted to help small businesses grow and access capital either effectively exclude or bypass altogether the majority of women-owned firms, according to groundbreaking research I [Caroline Bruckner, Executive in Residence, Department of Accounting and Taxation, American University] conducted on how the tax code affects women business owners through American University’s Kogod Tax Policy Center. 
For the first time, Caroline's research considered specifically whether women business owners can (or do) take advantage of tax breaks intended for small businesses.

Read more about how the US tax code bypasses women entrepreneurs.

Monday, October 30, 2017

From Our WEGG Partner: Women Entrepreneurs Are Crushing It

If there’s anything that defines women entrepreneurs, it’s their ability to figure out everything from how to write a business plan to launching an app to taking a business global.

When you are ready to launch and grow your business, keep these six tips in your back pocket from women who’ve done it before.

Read:  What Women Entrepreneurs Have Done Without Regrets to Crush It

Monday, October 16, 2017

Doing Business With the Federal Government

As Annie Pilon for Small Business Trends points out:  "The federal government is awarding more contracts to women owned small businesses than ever before. There’s still a long way to go. But for women who haven’t ever considered doing business with the federal government, it might be a good time to reconsider."

Check out her article providing tips for women business owners looking to navigate the world of government contracting.

Monday, October 09, 2017

How to Stay Strong and Healthy While Growing Your Business

The New York Times-bestselling author, Bethenny Frankel, is the founder of food and beverage company Skinnygirl, which sold to Beam Suntory for a reported $100 million in 2011.
Frankel also launched a television production company called B Real Productions in 2015. This fall Frankel is going to share her experience with aspiring business owners as a guest judge on ABC’s Shark Tank and she was a speaker at Advertising Week New York. 
But her latest venture is the one that is closest to her heart. Read more ... secrets to building a multimillion-dollar brand.

Monday, September 25, 2017

What To Do With Employees Who Rub Others the Wrong Way

No matter the specific behavior, your employee is rubbing people the wrong way. As the business owner, you know it’s your job to address the issue, but you’re not sure how to start the conversation because it's awkward. What should you say? How do you broach the topic?

Experts weigh in here but before you begin the conversation, prepare what you want to say and how you plan to say it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Why Do People Love to Hate “Process” but Rail Against Disorganization?

Why do people love to hate “process” but rail against disorganization?  Elizabeth Doty, a former lab fellow of Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and founder of Leadership Momentum, a consultancy that focuses on the practical challenges of keeping organizational commitments, writes an excellent piece for strategy+business on Liberate Your Team With Clear Processes. 

But back to why people love to hate process:
It is because most people associate processes with checklists, forms, and rules — the overseer breathing down their necks. Not surprisingly, leaders wanting to foster innovation and creativity are reluctant to institute such rigid controls and procedures.
Learn more ...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Who Is the Mysterious Aureta Woman?

In this post we focus on how women are leveraging Instagram to build their brand and their following.

Take Aureta Thomollari.  With no last name on her account and captions barely longer than three words, she could be anyone. But as it turns out, Aureta Thomollari is a woman with an incredible eye for beauty and Instagram is her hobby.  In fact, Thomollari's main focus is on her career as an entrepreneur and investor.  She takes images from locations around the world.
By simply looking at her Instagram account, a mysterious feeling arises. Who is this “Aureta” lady with the beautifully curated, colorful account chalk full of fashion, art, design and yes -- a few selfies?
Read more here to learn how you can build your image with not so much work and garner thousands of followers too.

Screenshot courtesy here.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Become a Chicago WPO Member!

Not a member of the Women Presidents' Organization and based in Chicago?  No problem.  We are hosting our 14th Annual WPO Chicago Summit on Thursday, September 14th and if you join before then, you can attend.  Contact Laurel Delaney at ldelaney(at) to get signed up.  Look forward to your membership and the possibility of you joining us on 9/14.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Congress Is Looking to Revamp the Tax Code

For the first time in 30 years, Congress is looking seriously at revamping the tax code, which means we have a once-in-a-generation chance to transform the code into a tool that empowers women entrepreneurs. The question is, will Congress seize this opportunity?
A new report by Caroline Bruckner of American University's Kogod Tax Policy Center and the national advocacy organization Women Impacting Public Policy (WPP) found that women business owners can't take full advantage of more than $255 billion in tax incentives because of how they are legally organized and the industries they serve.
To access the report, "Billion Dollar Blind Spot: How the U.S. Tax Code's Small Business Expenditures Impact Women Business Owners," go here.

Read more ...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Finding Synergies and New Ways of Doing Things

Ever wonder how you can get the most out of absurd ideas while running your business?  I do too. Let's face it, every day we are bombarded with cool ideas that come from our employees, suppliers, advisors and customers.
As we wait, our own mental wheels start spinning. When we hear an outlandish idea, most of us have a rapid reaction: We dismiss it. It sounds stupid, like nothing our company would ever do. Worse still, it sounds like something that the head of the department would never consider.
So how do you let go and free your imagination to take in new ideas and possibilities that might grow your business beyond your wildest dreams?

Here are two ways that can help you discover new ways of doing things.

Getting the Most From Absurd Ideas

Monday, August 14, 2017

Baby Boomers and Millennials Should Unite

According to Taylor Brown for the Kauffman Entrepreneurs, "Baby boomers are micromanagers, work hard, do not understand technology, are stubborn and want to destroy the planet. Millennials are lazy, entitled, tech savvy, want to save the world and don't know how to communicate in person."

What's a business owner to do?
Although the generalizations of baby boomers and millennials vary, they do share one similar characteristic, they both share particular entrepreneurial characteristics. Millennials crave freedom and earning potential. Baby boomers have a desire to build something.
Why then don't baby boomers and millennials co-found together instead of focusing on their differences?

Read more ...

Monday, August 07, 2017

Support Women Entrepreneurs: Here's How

Supporting women entrepreneurs goes far beyond purchasing their goods and services, sharing expertise to help their businesses grow (e.g., through WPO chapter meetings), or attending the events that other women organize.

As Lisa Abeyta for Inc. Magazine goes on to say:
Those are actually the easy ways we can support women in business. The real challenge is continuing to support women when it requires that we hold them accountable for bad behavior or intercede when we see them making decisions that could damage their reputation or company.
If you care, read on ...

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Ultimate Secret to Success That Women Must Share

What do you get when you problem solve with a group of women entrepreneurs? Well I know just the organization that has the answer.  Keep reading.

Geri Stengel, contributor at Forbes, gives us a bird's eye view into what members of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) found.
  • 77% of members do business with each other.
  • 67% of members’ businesses have grown since joining the group.
  • With growing businesses, 75% pay themselves over six figures annually.
“Entrepreneurs learn best from each other,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President of our WPO.  And that’s why you join a peer advisory group.

Learn more ...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Why You Need Food, Sleep and Exercise to Run a Successful Business

How many of you take care of yourself in a way that you are proud of?  Let's face it.  Most of us put our business first and everything else last, which is a recipe for disaster.

But whether it fits into your schedule or not, maintaining great health should come first, before our daily to-do’s, before our work. Why? As the article below says:
Because if we aren’t healthy, we can’t be successful, either—at home or at work.
Read more ...

Monday, July 17, 2017

How Do You Scale Your Culture?

In running a business, we all know its the little things that matter -- from acknowledging achievements to being unafraid of failure.  That's how you build an incredible culture.  It starts with values and works its way toward creating a framework for what's important when making decisions.

In the article below, scaling your culture is addressed along with how to be deliberate about it.

How to Scale Your Culture While Growing Your Company

Monday, July 10, 2017

Be Bold and Scale Big

Through the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program, the EY folks have gained a unique understanding of how to help women entrepreneurs succeed.  Its competition and executive leadership program identifies a select group of women entrepreneurs in the US and Canada whose businesses show real potential to scale — and then helps them do it.

In this article, they cover scaling big:  3 force multipliers for growth, which are contributing substantially to accelerated growth for women-led companies.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Are Small Business Tax Expenditures Operating as Congress Intended?

Research shows that policymakers and stakeholders have a blind spot when it comes to understanding how the tax code impacts women business owners and raises new questions about whether small business tax expenditures are operating as Congress intended.
This issue has a dramatic impact on the economy. The percentage of firms owned by women has soared from 4.6 percent in 1976—the first time the Census released a report on women’s business ownership—to 38 percent today. There are more than 11 million women-owned businesses with 9 million employees and they contribute $1.6 trillion to the economy.
As the article states, we need to know what in the tax code works for firms and what doesn’t.

Read more ...

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Scarcity Myth: Praise

In The Pitfalls of Praise, Rebecca Aced-Molina discusses how many managers assume praise will support a positive working environment, and help employees open up to criticism or feel good about themselves. But in fact, she says that praise perpetuates a scarcity myth—usually without us realizing it.

Read more ...

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Ultimate Small Business Idols

These sixteen (16) women redefined power by building their own businesses against all odds.  From tech giants to fashion designers to the 'Oprah Winfrey of China,' these powerful women are the ultimate small business idols.

Read more ...

Monday, June 05, 2017

Sweeping People Along by Great Leadership

According to James Bailey for HBR, great leadership is powerful, dominating, often overwhelming.  He goes on to say.
It can sweep people along through sheer animation. Great leadership excites, energizes, and stimulates. It’s a rousing call, shocking complacency and inertia into action. It’s one of the most potent pulls in human history, and as such accounts for much of humanity’s progress, as well as its suffering. 
Great leadership is not one-dimensional. As Bailey says, "It can be great and good, or one but not the other, or neither."

Read more ...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Never Lose Sight of Who the Customer Is

Bill Aulet, MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Managing Director of The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship has said "you need to keep calm and trust the process," when it comes to entrepreneurship.  He goes on to say:
“It’s much more important to figure out who the customer is; figure out the process and what makes that into a business,” adding that “it’s even more important to have a great team.”
Listen to the interview here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Me, We, Do and Be Concept

According to Randall Bell, Ph.D., there are four cornerstones to all our great pursuits -- whether the pursuits be starting a business, managing others, or setting goal.  How do we get grounded despite being pulled in a million different directions?  It starts with cultivating the right habits.

Read more ...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Awakenings That People and Business Owners Have in Life

Clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud has discovered certain “awakenings” that people have—in life and in business—that once they have them, they never go back to the old way of doing things.  And when that happens, they are never the same. In short, they get it.

Here's an example:
1. Return to what hasn’t worked.

Whether a job [or letting an employee go], or a broken relationship that was ended for a good reason, we should never go back to the same thing, expecting different results, without something being different.
Read more ... 

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Women Presidents' Organization Celebrates 20 Years of Magnificent Growth

©2017 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The Women Presidents' Organization celebrated 20 years of magnificent growth at its annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, which focused on Entrepreneurial Excellence: The Next 20 Years.  The event was a huge success.

Learn more here.

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Broadsheet Features the Women Presidents' Organization

The ever popular The Broadsheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the world’s most powerful women, featured the Women Presidents' Organization.  Here's the clip:

Read the entire newsletter here.  Read the complete Fortune article here.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Roundtable of Women Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

President Trump, Vice President Pence and Ivanka Trump met at the end of March at a roundtable of business women and entrepreneurs in the West Wing of the White House.  The president, reading from prepared remarks, offered promising comments and compliments.  Here are a few of them.

Read the article here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

WPO 20th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida 2017

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) will hold its 2017 International Conference in Orlando, Florida from Thursday, May 4th to Saturday, May 6th 2017.

The conference encourages WPO members to share business strategies and experience with other successful women from all over the world, as well as learn from interactive seminars and speakers.

Additionally, it will provide potential members who qualify a unique opportunity to experience the impact the WPO has on women business owners professionally and personally.

To learn more and to register, visit here.  Conference schedule can be found here.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Do You Avoid Negotiating? No more

Does the prospect of negotiating with an employee, supplier, investor, or business partner make you a nervous wreck? Do you panic at the thought of sitting across a table from someone and driving a hard bargain or taking a tough stance?

You are not alone.  Yet:
A lack of negotiation skills and abilities essentially forces you to take what you can get. This leads to you putting more into a business relationship than you get back. In turn, you’re not able to produce or perform to your fullest potential.
Read more here.

Monday, April 03, 2017

How to Reduce and Treat Burnout

Preventing burnout requires being very deliberate about how we work but also why we work.  Yet as you run a successful business, it's hard to set limits or monitor actions.
I [Brad Stulberg] learned that burnout — a state of physical and emotional exhaustion often followed by apathy and illness — is ubiquitous across industries. Physicians, businesspeople, artists, teachers, and athletes all have high rates of burnout. As a matter of fact, most studies show that between 40 and 50 percent of people are experiencing burnout at any given time.
Here are some tips to prevent burnout, regardless of field or the type of business you run.

Read more ... here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

What Is Your Gender IQ?

Through PwC’s partnership with the UN Women's HeForShe initiative, they are working towards achieving global gender equality in the workplace and beyond.
Imagine a world where girls and boys have equal access to education. Where women and men earn the same for similar jobs. Where women have equal opportunities to reach leadership positions – and men have the same opportunities to achieve a fulfilling work-life balance. This is what global gender equality looks like.
What is your gender IQ?  You can take an online course to find out.  Begin the course here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

How Small Businesses Are Teaching Big Companies a Thing or Two About Growth

As the PwC network says, "The most successful companies find unconventional ways to bridge that [strategy to execution] gap, and while there is much to learn from the large companies that do this best, there is also a wealth of knowledge to be uncovered by taking notice of the strategies and practices of smaller companies."

In Three Growth Lessons Large Companies Should Learn From Smaller Organizations, three WPO Chicago members are featured.  This is an article you won't want to miss.

Monday, March 13, 2017

WPO Chicago Member Joanna Sobran Named a Top Business Woman in Illinois 2017

Oh we love to brag about our members because they are all inspiring, ambitious and successful women business owners.  But the purpose of this blog post today is to honor one in particular who just recently earned the award of one of the Top 15 Business Women in Illinois.  And she's Joanna Sobran, President and CEO of MXOtech, Inc.

Learn more here.

Congratulations to Joanna.  Keep up the amazing work.  We are so proud of you!

Monday, March 06, 2017

New Research Supports Women in STEM

Recently, Congress passed two bills designed to promote women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions, and presented them to the White House.  And on February 28, President Trump signed these two bills—The INSPIRE Women Act, and The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act—into law.

The National Women’s Business Council’s latest research supports the need for solutions such as these that seek to address the disparity between men and women’s STEM workforce participation and commercialization efforts.

Read more here.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Only Real Failure in Business Is Giving Up

Founder of SB Projects, Scooter Braun, manages superstars like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West and Usher, and has broken more new music acts than any executive in the last decade.  He was also ranked one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Below he talks about 9 golden lessons for success in business and in life.  One is never giving up.  But you already knew that, right?

Go here to read the article.

Monday, February 20, 2017

After the Success of Women's March, What Happens Now?

More than a million people who turned out on January 21st for women’s marches in all 50 states have put down their signs, taken off their pink hats and ended their calls to action after what was an extraordinary display of solidarity for women's rights.

A critical question remains: What happens now?  How do you channel all that passion and energy into action that produces political change?

Read more here.

For the Week of Action Toolkit, visit here.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Color Outside the Lines

How can you find or reignite that passion to start and grow a business?  It's not easy for if it were, everyone would be doing it. Success Magazine asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council what advice they would give themselves.  Here's what they shared -- there are , in toto, 9 lessons.

No. 1:  Color outside the lines.
No. 2:  Don't doubt yourself.

Read more here.

Monday, February 06, 2017

A President's Secret Weapon: Other Presidents

According to Leo Bottary, a thought leader, speaker and educator on the topic of peer advantage, we learn best in groups.
This is why it's so essential for CEOs [Presidents] to surround themselves with other CEOs [Presidents] who are committed to listening more than talking, learning more than judging, and discovering what being a great CEO [President] is truly all about. Joining a pear advisory ...
The Women Presidents' Organization serves such a purpose -- allowing you every month to be with people like you, yet different from you, with whom you can share common aspirations and challenges that allow you to take your business to new heights.

Read more here.

Monday, January 30, 2017

What Differentiates Successful Women Business Owners From Mediocre Ones?

Our friend and esteemed colleague, Dr. Sharon Hadary, a recognized thought leader on women's leadership and entrepreneurship, writes a wonderful article for the Beatrice Daily Sun on "Top Ten Characteristics of Successful Women Business Owners."

Discover whether you have any of these great qualities and if you don't, you have your work cut out for you!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Women March Worldwide in Solidarity

Hundreds of thousands attended Women's Marches around the world in solidarity on Saturday, January 21, 2017.  Worldwide, including in London, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo, an estimated 3 million people participated in the march, according to organizers.

USA had big city representation from New York, Chicago (grew from 75,000 to 250,000), Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle, to name just a few, to march together for equal rights, women's rights, and human rights in general.

Read more here.  Our country and the economy must prioritize women entrepreneurs for future prosperity.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Look at Some Powerful Female Entrepreneurs

These sixteen redefined power by building their own businesses against all odds.  From fashion designers to tech giants, the following are power women who are the best of the best in female entrepreneurs.

Read more here.

Monday, January 09, 2017

What Inspires You to be a Great Leader?

As we move along in a new year, many business owners always want the $5 answer to the million dollar question:  How do you get inspiration to think differently and stir positive change within your organization?

It starts with lifelong learning.  And you've got to carve out the time.  Here are a few good books to read in 2017.