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Wednesday Wisdom

Visualization Inspiration Article
Oct 21, 2020

"The Power of Visualization" Written By Heidi Bartolotta

Visualization is a powerful tool that can be used in many aspects of our lives.

The concept is centered on the law of attraction, which basically states that if you put positive thoughts and energy out into the universe, positive results will return to you. Similarly, when you have negative thoughts, negative results will come your way.

An example of how the power of visualization works is a study by an exercise psychologist that appeared in “Psychology Today”. The study compared people who went to the gym with those who carried out workouts in their heads. Much to my surprise, the research found that those who went to the gym had a 30 percent increase in muscle mass, and those who carried out mental exercises increased muscle mass by 13.5 percent.

The study proved my point: visualization is effective.

A way to pull together your vision for a project, your life or a specific goal and harness the power of the positive energy you send into the universe is to create a vision board.

How to create a vision board that works

A vision board can be any type of visual. Usually, they’re created on some sort of poster board or frame that displays images that embody your aspirations and dreams for your life.

The key to vision boards is to focus on how you want to feel, rather than solely posting pictures of what you want. Here’s my take on creating a vision board.

1. What do I want?

Our lives are busy. It’s easy to lose sight of goals and get caught up in the hectic day-to-day routine of taking care of our families, working, running errands, making dinner, and repeating it the next day.

Most of us know what we don’t want, but how many of us have identified the details of what we do want? You might have a general idea of the life you want, but it’s time to be a bit more specific.

What does a “better life” look like for you? Is it work–life balance? Is it spending more time with your kids? Do you want to exercise more?

The whole point of this exercise is to give yourself clarity. Before constructing your vision board, ask yourself a few questions:

How do I want to feel? What do I value? What do I want to achieve?

2. Seek Specific Images If your goal is to wake up earlier, look for a picture of the exact time you wish to wake up. Include a picture of a lovely sunrise that will help inspire positive emotions about waking up early. A sunrise photo not only indicates a time of day but evokes a positive emotion with its beauty.

Remember, your vision board should bring clarity and focus to your goals. When you look at it, you should feel good. Select images carefully to inspire warm and fuzzy feelings that will keep you motivated as you work towards your dreams.

3. Include Daily Affirmations Once you can visualize it, you need to believe it.

Inspirational quotes or phrases can help foster this positivity. More often than not there is that little voice in our heads telling us why we can’t – or shouldn’t – achieve our goals. Then those around us also can give us negative advice that works against our positive outlook.

To counteract these negative forces, incorporate inspiring words to keep the positive energy going. If you tell yourself something for long enough, you’ll start to believe it.

Say these phrases out loud every time you look at your board. Use your vision board to silence the negativity and amplify the positivity! Some affirmations might be:

“I am enjoying life!”

“I am a great mother!”

“I have limitless energy!”

“I am worthy of the best that life has to offer!”

4. Can I See It? Your vision board should serve as a constant reminder of your goals.

Hang the board in an open area where you see it every day. Now that you can see it, be intentional about taking the time to read it.

Remind yourself why you made it in the first place – to improve your life!

5. Be flexible

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to vision boards. Do what works for you and adjust your vision board as you see fit and add to it as you come up with new goals.

For more information on Heidi, visitwww.momsmakingsixfigures.com.

This article can be found at https://www.delmartimes.net/sponsored-columnists/moms-making-six-figures/story/2020-08-07/the-power-of-visualization


Success Strategies: Blogging in the Virtual World
Sep 2, 2020

Today's success strategies come from the Women TIES Zoom Event "Blogging Success in a Virtual World" presented by Jenna Caputo of Silverpen Productions, LLC. The event was sponsored by the New York Women's Business Center in Utica. 

While the Covid-19 Pandemic still slowing down the marketplace, now is the perfect time for women entrepreneurs to become "digitally ready now" by making sure their websites are mobile-ready, updating their websites, making sure their is a blog as part of their website, and social media marketing channels ready. 

Blogging is more important now than ever before because it is an essential marketing tool. 

Blogging also helps entrepreneurs brand their image, reputation and marketing to their audience.

The best blog titles are born out of these popular blog subjects:
1. The List
2. The How-To
3. The Promise
4. The Best and Worst
5. Facts, Figures, and Statistics
6. Predictions and Trends

80% of people will read your blog if you have photos in it. 

The goal of a blog is to show your expertise in a subject/your industry. Never worry about how many followers you have. If you own a small business, you'll never have tens-of-thousands of followers like the big companies will have.

The three social media marketing mediums that seem to work best for small business is Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Video is now the best way to help Google get your content up in the searches so make sure you consider this following order of promotion: 
Tape a video - place the video to your YouTube Channel - Take the YouTube Channel link and post it in a blog post - share the blog post to social media channels. 

Do more live videos because video makes people feel more connected with you and your business. 

Now is the best time to "restrategize" your digital presence. Seek help from someone like Jenna Caputo if you need help in any areas of getting ready now. You can find her compant at www.silverpenproductions.com. 

If you are looking for more information given to attendees by Jenna Caputo, go to this link to "register" and receive the YouTube video link: http://www.womenties.com/events.cfm#Event675


Success Strategies: Podcasting
Jul 29, 2020

Women TIES July 28th Zoom Event - Success Strategies on Podcasting with Nicole Christina  

* Podcasting is a low-cost way to reach people across the state, nation and globe.

* Podcasts are a great way to create and leave a legacy.

* There are a million podcasts today but none of them are YOUR VOICE!

* Make a list of what is dear to you and using your unique passion and mission and then create a podcast around them.  Filter your questions through YOUR OWN lens. Understand your sweet spot.

* Don’t have too long of a podcast.  FYI: Nicole’s interviews are 30 minutes long.

*People who are listening to podcasts want to hear the podcasters’ real self and voice.  

* Be creative. Be professional. Present a polished interview.

* All people are looking for connections more than ever before. People are happier when they are connected. Podcasts can provide that connection. People are lonely so more of them are turning to podcasts.

* Good podcasts are getting paid sponsors who are looking for brands to support.

* Podcasts take a lot of time. You must be patient. Outsource the editing to someone else so they sound professional. You can use a virtual assistant for editing purposes or interns from colleges who are in the IT/Tech field.

* Be prepared for your interviews. Read about your interview subject – do your research.  Have an outline of questions. Try to get to the “emotional” portion of the podcast subject.

* Nicole suggests using Cast (program) for recording and Audacity (program) for editing.

* Use Canva artwork program to create Instagram and Pinterest art to share/market the podcasts.

* Create a podcast logo to use for marketing. Order inexpensive business cards to hand out to people. Send an organized PR piece to podcast interviewees to prepare them for the interview. Make it EASY for them to be on the podcast because you want a relaxed guest.

* Look for speaking events at conferences to share your podcast subject and expertise.  You might also find people  to interview for your podcast there.

* Check out Shepodcasts Facebook group for inspiration and help on being a podcaster.

* Remember the world need your voice and your light! Share it through podcasting.

Check out Nicole Christina’s podcast at www.zestfulaging.com and download her podcast on Apple.


Success Strategies: Women TIES Zoom Meeting "Virtual Prospecting"
May 29, 2020

Success Strategies from the Women TIES May 28, 2020 Zoom Call “Virtual Prospecting” By Lynn Hidy, UpYourTelesales.com and sponsored by the New York Women’s Business Center (www.nywbc.org). 

Remember people buy what you sell.

Just because there is a pandemic happening, does not mean people don’t have money to spend.

Any prospecting you do now are sowing sales for the future – consider prospecting like planting seeds now which produce fruit/vegetables/flowers later.

Once you conduct sales calls, ask the potential customer a question and then wait 10 seconds (even if there is dead air on the call) to give enough time for them to ask a question or respond to your question. Listen before speaking. This is essential in becoming a better sales person.

You must know your target market’s traits, interest, buying habits, demographics, before prospecting. Create a list and be as specific as you can.

Prospecting can take place online in most social media marketing platforms.

Sometimes it is helpful to search for “industry specific” groups online to get you in front of the right people.

Create collaborative partnerships with others to establish sales relationships in advance. For example: Lynn had collaborative partnerships where a percentage of sales revenue flows out to someone who gives her pertinent leads that lead to a direct sale. Create your own collaborative sales partnerships.

Be consistent in marketing so you “are in someone’s head” so the next time they need your product or service they think of you and your company and buy/hire you.

Don’t be afraid to send our regular mail vs. email to get noticed!

You want to create engagement with prospects – which means back and forth communication any way possible – to start establishing a “trust” factor in your relationship. A potential client typically needs to know and trust you before they buy from you. Getting into “conversations” with prospects establishes your relationship which eventually leads to more sales success with them.

Consider setting up a first meeting with a prospect where you GIVE free advice – which is 3 things you share with them that can help them right now! Then in your second meeting ask for the sale.

Before you leave your first prospect meeting, ask them “What is the next logical step for you to consider buying this product/service?” Their answer will help you set up your next sales step.

If you discover you aren’t “closing” any sales, then something is missing on the qualifying part of the process. Are you really selling to the right prospect? Go back and analyze. 

Reach out to Lynn Hidy about sales coaching and the New York Women's Business Center about free business services. Both can be found on the Women TIES website directory at www.womenties.com/members.cfm 
 


Zoom Call - Women TIES Success Strategies On Getting Back to Business After a Pause
May 13, 2020

Today's success strategies come from the May 6th Women TIES Zoom Call presented by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, Founder of Women TIES, who shared personal business lessons learned to reopen her business after a medical business pause. She believes some of the strategies will benefit women entrepreneurs reopening their businesses after the Coronavirus Pandemic. 


TRACY’S REOPENING STRATEGIES

1.Have a New Short Term Business Plan

You might not have dusted off your business plan in a while or maybe you have, but planning is the key to reopening your business.

Since the news about the Coronavirus is changing daily – sometimes by the minute – having a long term plan doesn’t make sense. We advise you to create a 3-month and 6-month plan to start.

Your revenue numbers and customer numbers may have changed due to closures and restrictions so you need to do the best guesswork you can at this point to set.

You might need to create new services or programs during this time too. Be creative. See what others in your industry are doing. 

If you need help with planning, Donna Rebisz from the New York Women’s Business Center since they offer free business planning services. Find them at www.nywbc.org.  

2. Understand Your Financial Situation

A vital part of your business plan is the financial plan within it.

Now more than ever before, you need to do a financial check to make sure you understand how much money you have to operate, spend, or save.

Many of our members are solo woman entrepreneurs, so you might not be concerned about maintaining staff salaries as much as your own.  There are some funding, loans, and grant options out right now.  Including:

A.) If you are living in Onondaga County, a $5,000 loan program through Centerstate CEO.
B.) Nationally there are the:
* Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) 
* Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

If you need help with your financial planning, we have members who could help, speak to your local bank representative or speak to Donna. We also have financial planners in our group that could help you.

3.Create an Excellent Client Communication Strategy

Start first by creating the right verbiage to communicate your plans with the people you count on most – customers.

During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Economic Pause, I have learned the most information from daily press conferences from the Governor of NYS Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor DeBlasio, who I listen to because both my sons live and work in NYC. Both are excellent at sharing relevant, logistical information on closures, reopening, phases, and plans.

I communicated really well and often when I took an 18-month medical sabbatical two years ago now.

To do this:

* Be honest about your situation and plans to build trust with your constituents, members, customers, and even vendors.

* Create communication verses, paragraphs, or even lines that state your plans.

* Share them with the people who count the most first.

* To communicate, make sure you know the best way to reach your customers  - it could be a regular email newsletter (like the WW), personal phone calls, personal emails, a mailed letter (and I wouldn’t suggest a text). 

* Give them a way to reach out to you to talk or answer questions.

4. Emotional Planning

I think we have all changed emotionally during this pause. I know I did when I took my 18-month medical “pause” from my business so here are some tips as you prepare to gear up again – or sustain yourself through the ups and downs of reopening:


* Set a realistic mindset – Be prepared to be more realistic, than idealistic during this time period. There is so much uncertainty in areas we cannot control during this “reopening period”– like how the pandemic will continue, recede, dissipate, or reoccur. Be prepared to “ride the wave” emotionally.

* Surround yourself with positive-minded people – for me mostly other women entrepreneurs who understood the emotions in my business decisions.  Seek kinship and conversations if you need them. I’m here too.

* Keep Yourself Healthy – Don’t forget to exercise, meditate, pray, garden, enjoy other hobbies, while you are going through this process. We all need balance. We must stay healthy physically and emotionally. Don’t give that up as you reopen your business. YOU COUNT THE MOST.

Good luck! Let us know how we can help you more! 
Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, Women TIES, LLC


Financial Information and Options During the Coronavirus
Apr 1, 2020

Here is a small list of businesses and organizations offering financial information, assistance, and options for your business during the Coronavirus: 

Provided to Women TIES by the New York Women's Business Center 

Please review these important clarifications and updates from the SBA:

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)

  • Up to $10,000 cash advance
  • Cash advance will be based on the number of employees for businesses with fewer than 11 employees.
  • The cash advance calculation is $1,000 per employee with a maximum cash advance of $10,000.
  • If you applied as a sole proprietor, self-employed individual or an independent contractor and did not list any employees in your application, the portal will assume 1 employee for the business owner when calculating the advance eligibility.
  • The cash advance does not need to be repaid.
  • Disbursements will begin this week and are based on when the applications were received and processed.
  • The loan applications will be processed in the order in which they have been received. It will likely be several weeks before your application is assigned to a case manager. The program has received millions of applications in the last three weeks.
  • There is no way for applicants to check the status of their application, and no confirmation email will be sent. If the applicant saw a confirmation number upon submission of their application, the application has been received and is processing.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Interest Rate - 1%

Loan Term - 2 Years

Non-Profit Eligibility

  • 501(c)(3)s
  • 501(c)(19) Veteran Organizations
  • Religious Organizations
  • Tribal Businesses

Headcount determination

  • May be actual employees or full-time equivalents. Defer to your lenders for their preference.

Forgiveness may be prorated based on actual eligible payroll express during the performance period (8-weeks).

The performance period (8 weeks) begins immediately following the disbursement of the loan proceeds.

  • If you have laid off employees prior to receiving the PPP loan, you will have a short window to rehire them.
  • You may not defer the spending until you are re-opened.
  • If you are planning to utilize the funds when your business re-opens, you should delay your application until you are prepared to use the funds. Please keep in mind that these funds are first come, first serve and may not be available when it is convenient to participate.

Seasonal business that had employees in 2019 but had not yet hired their 2020 staff may be eligible. Work with your lender to determine your eligibility and average monthly payroll calculations.

Expenses that CAN NOT be included in the average monthly payroll calculations for loan amount determination and/or forgiveness:

  • Employer contributions to social security and Medicare.
  • Disability and/or unemployment insurance.
  • Payroll processing fees.

For sole proprietors, self-employed individuals, independent contractors and LLCs filing as sole proprietors/partnerships:

  • The lender will determine the mechanism for identifying the owner's average monthly payroll.
  • Each lender is likely to use a different approach to this determination and you will have to follow the guidance of your lender.

If you have multiple businesses, check with the lender as to how the multiple businesses should apply for the program.

  • The multiple businesses should be working with the same lender for the application processes.
  • The lender will need to verify that the total number of employees of the businesses qualify as a small business.
  • The lender may have the multiple businesses apply under 1 application or as separate applications.
  • The lender will have the final say on how to approve and process applications from owners with multiple businesses.

If you have received an EIDL cash advance prior to the disbursement of the PPP loan, the EIDL advance may be deducted from the total of the PPP loan approval.

Thanks to the Albany SBDC for compiling this information.


Provided to Women TIES by Jodi Davies, M&T Bank (that goes along with what the New York Women's Business Center stated above): 

M&T will be participating in the CARES paycheck protection loans – we just don’t have the process and app procedures yet from the SBA. Please make everyone aware to be very careful of the scam sites that have already started to pop up

For the CARES Program, businesses have to work through a Bank.

SBA Disaster Loan --- THIS GOES THROUGH SBA DIRECTLY  Application Applications can be made online at:  www.sba.gov/disaster.

Paper applications can also be made, but the SBA prefers the online app, and the process should be quicker. Their customer service number is 800-659-2955.

The loan is for working capital – and is to cover cashflow depletion (not full revenue lost) – for covering fixed expenses No cost to apply, no cost to take the loan and not obligated to take the loan if approved.

Eligibility:

Must have a significant physical presence in NYS Must show the ability to repay the loan (so a business that has been struggling for years, wouldn’t qualify) Credit History “acceptable to SBA” – sounds more lenient then bank standards Must be eligible as a small business

The Loan: 

The rate is 3.75% - for-profit businesses and 2.75% for not-for-profit businesses Maturity is up to 30 years Loans < $25M – no collateral Loans > $25M – available collateral will be taken, regardless of existing prior liens.  Commercial real estate and residential real estate is in play.

Decisions made in 8-21 days.

Funds to be received in 5 days after “signing” for a loan.  It was unclear at his point what the acceptance/signing process looks like – so there may be additional time in-between decision and funding.

Items Needed with Application (not meant to be all-inclusive) Copies of 3 most recent tax returns Interim Financials Schedule of liabilities SBA Application form 5/5c (assume prompt from the site) SBA Personal Financial Statement (assume prompt from site) 4506t (assume prompt from the site)

NOTE: Tracy has four attachments Jodi Davies sent to her to forward to anyone interested. Please email Tracy at info@womenties.com for the documents. 


Success Strategies: 5 M&Ms to Female Leadership Success
Mar 11, 2020

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, President of Women TIES, delivered a speech "The 5 M&Ms of Female Leadership Success" to the Ithaca Business Women's Network on March 5, 2020. Some highlights from the speech are listed below.  For more information on hiring Tracy as a speaker, call 315-708-4288 or visit www.tracyhigginbotham.com. 

First M&M of Female Leadership Success:  Create “My Mission” Statement
A personal mission statement provides clarity and gives you a sense of purpose. Defining a personal vision requires leaders to set aside time to reflect on what really matters and explore how they can translate their values and feelings into a crystal-clear bottom line. 

Second M&M of Female Leadership Success:  “Mentor the Multitudes”
"When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organization.”  Pat Wadors

Third M&M of Female Leadership Success: Embrace “Miracle Moments”
Remember back into your life or contemplate current situations that made you who you are today and how you grew or changed from those experiences.  Discover if one of those moments was really significant and led you to who you are right now.

Fourth M&M: “Make More Money”
“The truth is, the Pay Wage Gap Still Exists”  
If you feel you are not being paid the same as your equals, what can you do about it? ASK FOR MORE MONEY! You have the power to ask for what you want to earn. 
 

Fifth M&M: Commit to “Marketing Mondays”
Being your own best PR agent - especially in your constituent’s eyes so they remember you year-round - is essential for your brand image and ability to be seen as a leader in the marketplace. Commit to making every Monday a “Marketing Monday”
 

THE EXTRA SPECIAL M&M: Enjoy “Multiple Modes” of Happiness and Balance
We owe it to ourselves to turn inward and use multiple modes of happiness to stay in balance, optimistic and satisfied with our leadership positions because we must be fueled to enjoy and complete our commitments.
 



5 PR Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
Mar 24, 2015

5 PR Tips For You and Your Business - By Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, President, Women TIES, LLC and Five Star Events


1. Practice 3 Creeds Every Day

* It Is About My Business, Not About My Ego
* If I Don’t Have Money to Advertise, I Must Promote
* Publicity Begets Publicity

2. Become a Press Release Student

* Know how to write a press release and if you don’t hire someone to write them
* Think about what you sell or expertise you have and consider ways it helps the media
* Submit press release/news quarterly
* Become friends with local media

3. Become a Writer

* Create a list of your top 5 expert topics
* Write a half page article on each topic (400 words) to get started
* Research publications for submission (trade, non-trade, business, regional, state, national)
* Once published, maintain a binder of your completed work and update your credentials
* Create and maintain a blog and then share your blog posts on social media

4. Become a Public Speaker

* Create a list of your top 5 expert topics
* Research speaking opportunities at 10 organizations (local, regional, national, trade, industry)
* Research local radio and television shows
* Send formal letters along with credentials, headshot, presentation topics
* Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up
* Once you speak, update your credentials with speaking engagements
* Join Women TIES Speaker’s Bureau

5. Cross Promote Others

* Establish relationships with complementary businesses
* Cross promotion can involve PR for both companies through websites, advertising,
event promotion, print materials, office displays, etc.
* Brainstorm with business associates on collaborative promotional ideas


BONUS PR TIP:

If you are a Women TIES member, make sure you use the 23 PR tools we offer year round to market and promote your business. We are a “secondary marketing” source for women entrepreneurs. We exist to help you brand your name in increase your sales potential. We also have a high SEO ranking so being “linked” with us through our website with your own profile will help your online marketing outreach too.
 


    315.708.4288   |   info@WomenTIES.com   |   P.O. Box 339   |   Syracuse, NY  13211
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