Books Books and more Books!

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I had the pleasure of attending the PS27 Female Founders Forum last Friday on International Women’s Day. In my career as an entrepreneur, I have attended more than a few conferences. Honestly, they are not always what they promise to be. This one was! In fact, it was an amazing conference.

Also, as someone who wants to speak at conferences and host events, I am always taking notes about the venue, food, setup, sound, speakers - you get the idea - and I have to say there were very few negative notes on this one!

One of my favorite parts was the time frame - doors opened at 9:30 and everything was wrapped up by 3pm. That is the perfect amount of time to be “on” and “learning.”

I got to connect with some amazing women and learn from leaders in the field.

One of the exercises was to have everyone share a business book that has changed their life in big ways. Today, the organizers sent out the list of books, so I thought I would share them.

I was actually surprised that I have only read 5 of these 30 books - even though I read all the time! There are definitely a few who are being added to my “to read” list as well.

…but it’s one of the most comprehensive collections of “you must read books” I’ve seen in a while.

And I LOVE that the list was curated by some of NE Florida’s top female founders!

PS: the exercise was prompted by Karen Bowling sharing with us that when she was starting Solantic she didn’t know a lot about running a business so she read everything she could get her hands on from people who had run successful businesses.

I second her perspective. I read constantly, and I feel like it has changed me SO much - as a person, as an entrepreneur, as a consultant, as a woman, as a person of faith, and as a mother.

Without further ado, here is the collection of books …click each one to view on Amazon and purchase.

Know a book that is missing or have strong feelings about one of these, definitely let me know!

 

Using Your Key Value

Using Your Key Value

There are tons of companies that have been started based on someone’s particular value! Many of these companies have replaced traditional non-profits and are operating as a true social impact business.  Their mission leads everything they do, but they are also in it to make money.  They know that making money provides them the power to make the change they seek.  Their marketing often includes educational information about the cause they hold dear and their team tends to share their dreams for social change.

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Celebrate. It. All.

Celebrate. It. All.

Most of us have heard over and over how incorporating a gratitude practice into your life and work will change things in drastic ways. The philosophy is that being grateful for what we have will attract more of the same. Although I agree with this practice, I also think, a gratitude practice on its own misses part of the equation. For me, gratitude really goes hand in hand with celebration. It can be easier to be grateful for things that have come to us, but that leaves out the things that we are doing to create the lives/businesses that we want.

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Finding your 5 star clients

Finding your 5 star clients

We talked last week about how getting clear on your values means some people won’t like you. This is SUPER important to remember when someone, in fact, doesn’t like you. Many of us live and die by our social media reviews - which makes sense because we all want to be the 5* business so all the people will come and see us.

But the reality is that when you are running a values-based business, you don’t want All The People - you want YOUR PEOPLE.

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Down with the Full Year Review

Down with the Full Year Review

Ahh January. This year I saw A LOT of posting about taking time at the end of the year to review how your year went (or didn’t) and stopping to think about what you’ve learned and what you want to take into 2019 and what you want to leave behind. Much like resolutions, this exercise (to me) seems to be rooted in a great place, but still has the power to leave us focusing on the past and the future - and less on the present. It also can leave many of us beating ourselves up and highlighting all the things that went wrong.

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A sensory experience

A sensory experience

At a conference recently, a business owner whom I have come to respect and trust greatly over the past year was discussing how the values of your business come through in the energy of your space. Her talk was geared directly to how you want your customers to feel when they are in your physical work space, but I kept thinking about how easily this could be translated to your employees.

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An easy place to start...

An easy place to start...

Does the idea of restructuring your whole company to explode with your values feel daunting? I totally get it. I’ve told the story many times about feeling like I needed to win the lottery to change all of my household and beauty products over to green/natural ones. I’m here today to give you a little bit of relief from that feeling. One of the easiest and most common ways that people navigate the intersection of values and profits is to build a give-back component into their business plan.

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So, what are my values?

So, what are my values?

In order to operate as a values-based business, business owners have to take the time to stop and determine what our values are. Progressive business conversations define stakeholders as the owners, clients and employees of a business - some even going as far as including the community the business operates in. When you are thinking about what your values are, you need to examine your gut emotions around each of these groups of people.

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What does it mean to be a disruptor?

What does it mean to be a disruptor?

A couple of years ago I attended an event called "Disruption" in Hartford that featured entrepreneurs and companies who have disrupted their industry in big ways.  The panel included Ezra Klein (Vox Media), Anjali Kumar (Warby Parker), and Danny Meyer (Shake Shack).  In addition to loving the idea of being a disruptor, I went to see Ezra Klein.  I've long been impressed with Vox Media and the idea of someone being in the D.C. circuit and doing things in a new way was more than intriguing to me.  However, when I left, I was drinking the Danny Meyer kool-aid!  His description of and anecdotes about the philosophy he calls, "Enlightened Hospitality" left me feeling like I'd been to church.  And anyone who knows me knows those are my favorite kind of evenings.  If ever an industry has been stuck in its ways - the restaurant industry is surely it. And yet, Danny Meyer opened a super successful restaurant chain doing things in a completely different way.

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Can your company make money and a difference?

Can your company make money and a difference?

So what is the intersection of economics and spirituality? To me, it means values-based earning and values-based spending.  Values-based spending is an easy sell and peolpe have been doing it for many generations.  From company boycotts for political reasons to choosing to shop local or buy fair trade, many people in our society choose to put their money where their heart is.  Values-based earning is newer though.  I'm defining it as when the business you run or job you have makes you money and makes your world better.   

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how it all began

how it all began

A few years ago I was sitting on the patio of one of my favorite bars in town. Surrounded by friends old and new, we drank great craft beer, listened to amazing local music and worked to solve all the worlds problems before the sun came up.

I overheard someone sitting near me complaining about how the CFO of a local charity drives around in a Jaguar and how sad it is because the money could do so much more for the people the charity serves. Everything in me started feeling uncomfortable and angry.

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