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BossBabe

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Awesome photo, right?  This past Sunday was Father’s Day and my husband, Dwayne, had VIP tickets to the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Convention.  Bella put on her best Princess Belle dress and got ready to be “royal” for her audience.  Mia was so ready to go in her blue Power Ranger superhero suit that she started to cry when I made them stop for a photo before they ran out the door with dad.  As any of my friends can testify, my girls are a handful with all of the entrepreneurial characteristics that will make them amazing CEO’s someday.  Recently I’ve noticed some news articles about male executives and politicians saying stupid things about how women can’t achieve the same things as their male counterparts.  I’m here to tell you that not only is that total crap, but you are actually at a distinct advantage over men in business.  

I was pregnant 18 of the first 24 months while I created a fast growth company.  Want to talk about how women are better at multitasking?  I was texting my store managers and executive team throughout both labors, including while they were putting the epidural into my back.  You want to argue that men can do the same?  Best wishes.  Send me that email.  I look forward to hearing that story sir.  Women are natural multi tasking geniuses from childhood.  My 5 year old, Bella, can tell me an elaborate story about her imaginary universe while coloring and listening to her little sister sing.  She doesn’t miss a beat.  Business takes a unique ability to multi task while maintaining focus while prioritizing tasks at a rapid rate.  No one does this better than women.  

One of my favorite entrepreneur friends, Doug, is always baffled at my ability to read people and give him insight into what their true motivation is.  Women are talented at reading body language and decoding the bullshit to get to the core issue at hand.  When finely tuned, the emotions of women can be the biggest asset a company has.  I’m not talking about hysterical, dramatic women, but the women who learn how to check their drama at the door in favor of balanced reason with a feminine touch.  

Entrepreneurs are good about supporting other entrepreneurs, but women entrepreneurs are exceptional at supporting fellow women because we know how few of us there are in the world.  Being an entrepreneur is a tough road, but the best things to have on a difficult journey are passengers who support you and lift you up as you need it.  Seek out the fellow female entrepreneurs who will support you along your journey and never doubt for a second that your gender isn’t your biggest advantage.  


I blame Apple for my love of entrepreneurism.  Growing up in a small town with parents that had stable jobs working for the man, I never really understood why I was so different until one day in 1997.  I was an overly enthusiastic, entirely idealistic high school cheerleader determined to solve the worlds problems when I saw this Apple TV commercial and I finally got it.  Clear as day, it hit me that I was one of the crazy ones.  I wasn’t crazy enough to compare myself to the legends in the commercial, but I suddenly understood in an instant that I was put on Earth to do more than put in my 35 years working at a “job”.  

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Recently, I’ve heard some pretty dumb advice handed out to brand new entrepreneurs and I’d like to set the record straight based on the thousands of experiences I’ve heard from entrepreneurs far wiser, richer, and more brilliant than I.  “Asking is begging.”  I overheard an idealistic kid tell a new transplant to our area not to ask for a job because it would be viewed as begging.  I didn’t have a heavy item to throw at his head or he’d be hurting right now.  That’s the most bull shit thing I’ve heard of late.  No one likes a taker, but you know the difference.  The takers are always taking, always asking, forever looking out for number one and in no way looking to contribute to the greater good.  Don’t be a taker, but for heavens sake, this piece of advice is some of the dumbest stuff I’ve heard.  Ask for help.  Ask for the business.  Ask for a job.  Ask for what you need.  Earlier this year a fellow entrepreneur friend took his own life and we all sat around discussing for days how we wish he would have reached out to ask for the support he needed.  Don’t struggle alone assuming that your entrepreneurial community is filled with mind readers.  The reality is that we are all extremely busy with our own lives and it makes us feel good to give back, paying forward what others have done for us to get us to where we are today.  I love using my contacts to help others achieve their dreams.  My joke is that someday if this all falls apart, hopefully they’ll hire me.   Hey, a girl’s gotta have a back up plan.  

The time has come.  It’s 2013 and Facebook has over 1 billion active users.  If you haven’t figured out how to properly use social media for your business, allow me to give you a crash course in signs that you, my friend, suck at social media.  Don’t worry, I’ll let you in on all the secrets you need to fix it, too.  

1. You use your personal Facebook page for your business.  Stop.  Stop it.  Go to “pages” and create a professional page.  Why?  Well outside of how bloody annoying your posts about how I need to seize your beauty product opportunity three times a day are, you’re missing the boat.  With a professional page you can create affordable pay per click advertisements that will advertise your product or service to people you didn’t go to high school with.  Gasp!  Yes, there are people out there that you didn’t grow up with that want what you want to sell.  Keep your personal social media pages personal and keep your business pages business.  

2. You have a page on every social media network known to man kind, but you post once a year.  The entire purpose of social media is to create a community for your business.  What happens when a client posts a question and you answer it 11 months later?  Oh honey, they’ve moved on and have spent the last 11 months telling everyone how crappy your customer service is.  Only have a page on the social media networks that you are committed to checking daily.  Anything less is unprofessional.  

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3. You are using #hashtags #totally #wrong #and #it’s #totally #obnoxious.  A hash tag is a word or phrase prefixed with the # symbol.  It should only be used for important words that people would search.  Don’t hash tag the crap out of every word because you’re missing the point and no one is searching for #and.  Use the appropriate verbiage for the respective social media network.  Instagram, Twitter, and now Facebook are hashtag friendly, but stick to the important words.

4. You want to discuss the ROI of having a social media presence.  My friend, Scott, writes best selling books all about how ridiculous this concept is.  Social media is not advertising.  It is customer service and public relations, but most of all: it is a modern means of communication.  Welcome to the future my fellow entrepreneur!  Check you out being all Star Trek and fancy.  The ROI of having a professional, effective social media presence is immeasurable and any social media “expert” that tells you they can quantify this should be smacked with a copy of “Unmarketing”.   

5. Your business page is not a bill board.  And frankly, bill boards don’t work to engage with your audience.  Keep your content no more than 1/3 about your business.  The rest should be about your industry, your corporate values, or random cat videos that make people laugh.  Show some personality and don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers along the way.  Social media living legend Guy Kawasaki takes pride in the number of complaints he gets.  In fact, if he is not getting complaints, he knows the content isn’t compelling enough.  We know that you sell beauty products, but give me some healthy living tips for how to look younger or live longer.  That’s the good stuff that will keep me coming back to your page and engaging more.


How often have you heard, “It’s not what you know, but who you know in business.”?  A hundred times if you’ve been an entrepreneur for any length of time.  I used to wholeheartedly agree and share this phrase with all new entrepreneurs, but I would like to call bullshit.  Yup, it’s not true.  It is not what you know, but it is entirely all about who you know that knows who you need to know.  The chances that the people in your contact list or mine are the ones that will have the game changing connections you need are slim, but the chances that the game changing connection is one or two degrees of separation away from my contacts, now that is highly likely.  

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Business is about relationships, so make it your business to build them.  I don’t do networking events.  In fact, I loath them with a fiery burning passion that only comes second to lines at Disneyland and airport security.  Reach out to people you genuinely want to connect with, find common ground, and build friendships.  Deliver value to the people in your contact list without any expectation of getting anything in return.  Build a supportive circle of people smarter and more experienced than you are who believe in you and your dreams.  

Break down your big picture goal into smaller, achievable weekly goals and create a weekly question that you can ask of new friends or contacts that you have meetings with.  Since I am so sales driven, I like to have a specific number of new accounts I need to secure.  This week’s question to all of my strategic partners was, “I need to land 4 new clients this month.  Who do you know that I need to know?”  Don’t get me wrong here.  My contact list is powerful in its’ own right and I can get a lot accomplished just with the circle of people I know.  Someday I hope that list includes Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, but, until then, I’m going to keep growing the relationships I’ve built and maximizing all of the serendipitous interactions that happen in my world.  

Anyone who has known me for five minutes has probably heard me say this phrase again and again.  I’m sure it’s been around for years, but it stuck in my head when I heard Pastor Dean giving a sermon when I was 25 in Las Vegas.  Pastor Dean had a passionate way of getting things stuck in your head that you wouldn’t soon forget.  Sales is tough.  I’ve been a sales person since I was 15 at the Skookum Bowl in Yakima, Washington selling snacks and soda pop to league bowlers on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  There are two camps in the sales world: the one that says sales people are born and the second that says they are trained.  Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle with my own belief, but I know for sure that I was born with a drive to compete and sell my booty off.  Here’s my top three sales secrets just for you:

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#1. Be you and share your story with your clients.  Providing great value with excellent customer service is not negotiable, but to build loyal, raving fans, you need to share why your clients should care about helping you achieve your goals.  My day job is entirely dedicated to helping others achieve their dreams, so if I don’t believe fully in where they want to go and they don’t believe in where I want to go, we are set adrift in a business relationship that isn’t going to go very far.  I want to care more and work harder than anyone else because it is just my nature and who I am.  

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#2. Believe in yourself.  Everything Thomas the train said when you were little was entirely true.  If you think you can, you will.  Everyone has their moments of doubt and insecurity.  The goal should be to manage that doubt and insecurity to present your most confident, friendly self.  For me, I have found a focus phrase that reignites my confidence.  It’s the thing that I said to myself before I jumped out of the plane the first time I went sky diving and it was the same thing I repeated over and over during my first motorcycle lesson.  ”You have not because you ask not.”  That phrase pushes me to ask more of my life, more of my soul, and more of my own limitations.  Figure out what works for you and keep it close in those moments when you need to cold call on a prospective client or walk through the door of an office that is intimidating you.  Life is too short to let doubt and insecurity eat up the days you’re on Earth.  

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3. Stay in your wheelhouse.  I confess: I am a rehabilitated over promiser.  As a die hard optimist and reformed people pleaser, I would see opportunity everywhere and all I wanted to do was solve the problems of every entrepreneur I sat in front of.  Yes, I was a yes man.  It was miserable.  When my good friend, Theresa, finally gave me the permission to say “no” it set me free in a way that feels better than words could describe.  Figure out what you do best.  Focus on doing a whole lot of that.  Tell your clients they will get X and then deliver X, Y, and Z.  They will become your raving fans.  

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BossBabe

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First Friday is a brilliant community event happening in cities throughout the world, but here in fabulous Las Vegas, First Friday has it’s own unique character and flare.  In Las Vegas our First Friday celebration takes place on the first Friday of each month in the arts district of the downtown Las Vegas.  The primary activity takes place on Casino Center Blvd between Colorado Street and California Street.  If you’re looking for a great community party, this is it.  However, if you are looking for a great family friendly event, this is also it.  The event itself feels like an artsy unique state fair, complete with delicious food trucks and vendors serving tasty grown up drinks.  Walking through the art galleries, my girls chose which piece they would want to hang in our home and shared why they liked that piece.  It was a great way to get my 4 and 5 year old girls talking about art appreciation.  If you’re looking for a kid specific area, there is an entire play area just for kids that offers coloring, fun games, and a play area for little ones.  Our girls felt right at home and the volunteers helping in the kid area were enthusiastic about making sure they had a great First Friday experience.  Hands down the highlight was getting their faces painted and seeing the fire breathing preying mantis, which they were thrilled to hear would be a permanent resident of downtown once the container park opens.  If you’re looking for an affordable, fun, family oriented event to bring your children to I can not recommend First Friday highly enough.  I hope to see you with all the cool kids this Friday!  For more information and all the dirty details, don’t hesitate to check out: http://www.firstfridaylasvegas.com/.  

Think “Las Vegas culture” is an oxymoron? Sin City’s monthly First Friday festivals will suggest otherwise. Visitors seeking proof need look no farther than downtown’s burgeoning Arts District and its growing number of galleries. 
Las Vegas: First Friday kicks off the new year artfully - 01/02/2013, LA Times 

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BossBabe

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Last Tuesday was like every other Tuesday morning coffee meeting at the Beat in downtown for me.  A one on one with a talented cameraman, talking about how we could work together and what great things we could accomplish when I mentioned my bucket list.  ”So I decided, I had to create one and my passion project is creating a documentary about the characters of Fremont Street to really show case the cool people that are attracted to this area of downtown,” I said.  ”No way!  Me, too!” said Sam Dever, aforementioned talented cameraman.  ”What if we did it together?” I asked.  ”What are you doing this afternoon?” he asked.  That afternoon we filmed our first characters, a couple of musicians whose bus had broken down in front of the Ogden and who were happy to share their story with us.  By the end of the week, we had filmed about six hours of footage, received over a dozen signed releases, and were embraced by the street performer community.  We’ve got until the end of August to get it filmed, edited, and submitted to the Sun Dance Film Festival, but as we have been sharing this story with our world of creatives, we’ve picked up a third talented cameraman and an experienced producer.  It’s happening people.  It’s really happening.  Ditch all the excuses and get off your ass- that’s how bucket list dreams come true.