Tag Archives: networking

cocoa&Hearts

My feet are still sore from last night, thanks to white pony-hair booties that I donned for Love Your Life. Ahh the things we women do for our fashionista moments!

But it was worth it all, to host Made by Girl’s Jen Ramos as she and I talked to the crowd of lovelies, motivating them to go for their dreams and believe.

From her forays in a chocolate truffle business, to days she felt utterly hopeless struggling with infertility, Jen had so many fabulous tips and ideas. She described starting her now-famous Made by Girl blog in 2006, amidst frustrations at work and a passion for more. We all related to her angst over not knowing where to begin, spending hours on the phone asking questions, and dealing with internal voices that predicted failure.

There were so many takeaways, here are the highlights:

Find your passion — What is it you dream of doing one day? Why do you want to do it? Getting in tune with what you really desire, is the place to begin.

Do your research — “I never considered where to refrigerate all that chocolate!” Jen recalled trying her hand at a chocolate business. Talk to everyone in the business you’re considering, and ask questions over and over. Spend the hours it takes to learn what you don’t know, and get in the know.

Don’t quit your day job — The last thing you need is pressure to pay the bills. Use nights, weekends, and every free moment you’ve got to launch your bigger dreams, until they can support you financially.

Pain brings surprise gifts —  When Mat and Jen realized pregnancy wasn’t happening and adoption would cost tens of thousands, Jen picked up a paintbrush and in a cold dark basement started painting. To her surprise, the 11 canvases sold in just days for $500 a piece, launching her now popular Cocoa and Hearts original artwork that sells out immediately.

Ignore the skeptics — People will criticize, tell you you’re not worthy, refute your plans, and copy your ideas. “When someone copies what I’m doing I consider it the time to innovate something new,” Jen described as a nugget of wisdom learned from her husband Mat.

We finished the night with our power-networking moment. I heard story after story afterward, of divine appointments and real-life plans to launch forward with help from one another.

A huge thank you to Mat and Jen for sharing their story, bringing so many friends, and making it one more Love Your Life night to remember. I continue marveling at how a group of committed women, helping one another with practical ideas and courage, can conquer their fears, and DO their dreams.

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Overjoyed when Jen presented me with her famous gold metallic LOVE print!!

Overjoyed when Jen presented me with her famous gold metallic LOVE print!!

 

 

 


What do you get when you mix 250 savvy women, lots of laughter, meaningful networking, and a free closet makeover for one fortunate winner?  You get a smashing night at our inaugural “Love Your Life” event in NYC.

I always marvel at how much energy comes into a room when women gather.  There were lovelies from age 12 to 72, sparkly jackets, funky scarves, shoes to remember and beautiful eyes galore.  It felt like a movie set but was really just a girlfriend gathering, and one we can’t wait to replicate June 3.

Image 9My dear friend Tiffany Whitford had us all in stitches, entertaining us with her tales of growing up Catholic, starting and losing her business, dealing with the IRS read more


LOVEyourLife1280x720-PWYou all know I’m a big believer in innovation, and this next Monday night, May 6, in NYC should be a fun experiment in practicing what I preach.

We’re calling it, “Love Your Life,” the first of two events (and hopefully more) designed to connect as many savvy, successful women as possible for a night of networking, interviews, surprise giveaways, a talk from yours truly on “It’s Your Time to Dream,” and much more.

We’ve got some fun aspects planned, all in the spirit of experimentation and innovating something that may just strike a chord with hundreds of new friends.

One fascinating friend, Tiffany Whitford, will be our first special guest. I’ll interview her about her life and career journey which  includes starting her own business, leadership roles at Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman, and now the General Manager of Kate Spade’s Flagship Madison Avenue store, opening next week.

Nothing like this happens without a team, and the Dream Team for this effort includes my awesome marketing director Sundy Goodnight at the helm, with help from Stacy Varghese, Amanda Goodwin, Dee Rivera, Darcy Plimpton-Sims, Deborah Coates (long-distance, we still miss you Deb!), Tammy Iroku, and many other go-getters who I love and value so much.

So if you’re in the NYC area this Monday night or know someone who is, please send them one of these links, cost is free and a rich night is guaranteed!

Use Facebook to Invite Your Friends:   https://www.facebook.com/events/406677916097000/?fref=ts
Send a Personal E-Card:   http://www.msny.org/love-your-life/
Tiffany Whitford, guaranteed to inspire you with her life stories of love, loss, and bouncing back

Tiffany Whitford, guaranteed to inspire you with her life stories of love, loss, and bouncing back

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I had lunch yesterday with a new friend Linda Thompson.  She flew in for the day from Chicago, just so we could spend some “get-to-know-one-another” time.

I’m speaking for her Bella Conference in Chicago next month, but we had not met one another until yesterday.

For four luxurious hours we shared life stories over the most delicious lunch at The Umstead in Raleigh (love a multi-course lunch where you’re treated like a queen while you linger and act like you own the place!)

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Lunch with lovely Linda Thompson, generous new friend!

Saying goodbye at the airport I was reminded that relationships trump credentials every time.

What I mean is people love to work, socialize, and make things happen with people they enjoy.  A boss that really likes me will grant more opportunities than the one I’m simply assigned to. Same for any business, community, or personal relationship.

One of my friends whose really exploded on the speaking scene told me how he follows people on Twitter, retweets their tweets and affirms them with a comment or two, then drops them personal messages of honor and encouragement.  Many times they respond back with an invite to be part of something they’re doing.

Linda sent me gorgeous flowers on my birthday this year, read both my books, let me know what she took from each of them, and handed me a card with yet another gift before she left yesterday.  No surprise I love her already and want to do anything she would ever ask me to do.

I also want to be more like her, proactively and generously reaching out to others as friends, for mutual win-wins.

Wherever you hope to go to or get to next, find out whose there and become their friend. Invest in their happiness. Affirm their interests. And if you gain an open door, that’s awesome, but more importantly, that’s relationship.

 

 


I love doing workshops with corporate women who are eager to take their careers to the next level.

Today was one more such time, as I presented for a Deloitte Women’s Initiative Workshop that involved both clients and Deloitte attendees.

We talked about what Executive Presence is, a compass for expanding it, and how to overcome barriers that set us back.

Working with one another as “Executive Presence Coaches,” each woman laid out a simple, but cognitive approach to growing her Executive Presence.

Energy was high and ideas flowed. We all left motivated and excited about taking one or two steps in the direction of a new aspiration and dream.

I shared the following “measures” of Executive Presence, courtesy of Forbes.com.  Perhaps you’ll gain a few new insights into building a presence that opens up doors and expands your possibilities.

You have strong Executive Presence if….

  • Your presence is felt when you walk into a room
  • You inspire people; you are likeable and trustworthy
  • People are very curious to know more about you
  • People want to be your friend and build a relationship with you
  • You are perceived as important, valued and respected
  • You ask timely, relevant questions that ignite a dialogue
  • You are social, well-read, and share fresh perspectives
  • You leave behind a thought-provoking message people remember
  • You relate equally well with different types of people (regardless of hierarchy or rank)
  • You share and create opportunities for others
  • You smile, maintain eye-contact, make people feel important & hopeful

With long-time friends Debbie Crump and Judy Kitchen, we worked together years ago at Deloitte and got to reunite in today’s workshop, love these two women!

Toni Rahilly (left) and Barb Osteen, both Deloitte directors, planned today’s event, both of these women already know lots about Executive Presence!

 


This time of year Ron and I get flooded with requests for help in finding a job.  New grads are hitting the “real-life” job market while others are in some sort of job transition.

I responded to one inquiry recently, with what I called a “mentoring moment,” designed to help her be more successful in looking for work.  I believe these tips are crucial when asking people for ideas, connections, and assistance in any job search.  What follows is my email in response to her inquiry, with suggestions that can help anyone looking for a job.

Dear Shari (name is changed)

Wow, it’s hard to believe you are graduating already, seems like just yesterday you were starting college.  We are so proud of you and the ways you have grown.  Glad you wrote and happy to offer some thoughts as you search for “marketplace work.”

“Marketplace” is an extremely broad and somewhat vague category.  We need to know your specific interests within that category:

  • What is your exact degree?
  • How might you envision yourself using it?
  • What specific types of work do you enjoy most?

Have you read my book?  It would be perfect timing now if not.  Dive into the exercises, write a purpose statement for your life, get specific about people you need to help you in the next stage of your life and journey.  Consider going through my podcast series too, “Lunch with Lynette” and find those ideas that are especially useful at this juncture.  My resources are simply one of many.  Learn everything, be hungry for mentoring and find tools that can help you get more DEFINITION and SPECIFICITY around your interests and goals.

Ron and I are both well-connected to many people, companies, etc., but it’s difficult to help when someone comes with vague needs.  People who are well-connected and knowledgeable will not typically respond to that type of inquiry (people wonder why they don’t get a response, it’s often because they weren’t specific.)  If you can learn to be very specific such as, “I’m interested in XYZ company because I saw they have an opening for XYZ position, do you know of anyone at that company or can you help me tailor my resume for that position?” anyone with expertise or connections will be glad to assist you.

  • Do research on companies in cities where you’re open to living,
  • Find specific job openings that appeal
  • Do research on these jobs, understand the qualifications
  • Figure out how to tell your story in a way that aligns with these openings
  • Work with your college placement office
  • Work hard at networking with people you know from church, your school, and family, those who can help you gain an interview within these companies
  • Start targeting specific companies and jobs vs. just looking at your future as “I want to be in the marketplace”

Newspapers have classified ads, temp agencies have jobs and in many cases these temp assignments turn into permanent jobs (this is how I got my first job out of college as well as many summer jobs.)  Find out which temp agencies are in your area, go in and apply.

You are gifted, qualified, talented, with a wonderful heart and personality.  You can find a great job that God has already gone before you to prepare.  It’s going to take work, research, preparation.  No one will hand you an easy path (I know you know this, I’m stating the obvious), but by following these suggestions you can find your first job and enjoy it, knowing you did your work and got the prize!

Hope this is helpful, bless you and we are praying over all of this with you….
Lynette