Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Building a Women's Network . . .

Networking here, networking there, a little network everywhere . . .

I thought this article about an event in Kuala Lumpur, Bernama might inspire us to continue developing our network and learn from ladies on the other side of the world . . .

Carnival To Showcase Products By Women Entrepreneurs (in Malaysia)

Women's Organizations (New Section)

If you are a first time visitor or a returning visitor, we have added a new section called "Women's Organizations" located in the left column of this blog. This section provides links to other women's organizations or resources that may be beneficial to growing your business or learning about what women are focused on.

Some of us may be marketing exclusively to women; others may not. Please leave comments if you have a link you would like us to include.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ning, Facebook, and Twitter

If any of you were wondering how Facebook, Twitter, and Ning differ in social network sites, I found a brief explanation from the CEO of Ning that created a simple explanation. Rather than paraphrase her, I'll just quote her.

In an interview with CNN, Gina Bianchini, CEO of Ning explains what makes Ning different from other social networking sites. “It’s focused on providing the [means for] people to create new social networks around their interests and passions and connect new people around those passions. We think that's a very critical element of organization. The Facebook phenomenon connects you to people you already know and Twitter is amazing for news and real-time events. What we see with people who gravitate to Ning is meeting new people with similar interests.”

There are many social networking groups forming on the Internet; based on your own experience, what social networking groups do you find to be the most useful, and why?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ladies Who Launch

The other day I was listening to Satellite Radio and heard an interview done by Jean Chatzky talking on the topic of Mom-preneuer's (Mom's or women who start businesses). This particular interview was about balancing motherhood and starting a business. I have included an audio link here. Small business start ups are now at an all time high due to large companies downsizing, and the current economic climate. While listening to this interview, I was intrigued by hearing about an organization called "Ladies Who Launch" and decided to check out their website.

After reviewing their "business basics" page, I can see there is a lot of power behind this organization. Maybe some of you have heard of this organization or are currently using some of their services/resources.

Registration is free. Once registered they guide you into areas of their website that may be of interest to you like Featured lady success stories, a business directory, or preferred member programs.

3 Degrees-Connected™ is still interested in telling the "story" about the women behind the business in West Michigan, which is exactly what this organization is doing on an International level in featured lady success stories.

Their partnership directory provides a list of companies with web sites that provide resources, information, products, services, content, and tools for business owners. This includes either free or premium listings for your business. A registered member can use either type of directory listing. To learn more "click here".

Also embedded in this site are Google Ads for press releases, networking organizations, small business directories, and online marketing tips. I can't possibly share all the content on this site, but please check it out for yourself. A local chapter of this organization is located in Lansing, Michigan. I have also included a link to the Workshops page of this chapter for your convenience. Maybe we could organize a group of ladies from West Michigan and go through one of their workshops together. Their Strata program sounds interesting.

If anyone is using a particular organization, program or website to assist in growing their business, please share in the comments section of this post. We would love to create great links to great programs to stimulate business growth in West Michigan.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Making A Difference

Thanks to a recent Gold Exchange where the recipient mentioned 3 Degrees - Connected™ network, and the generosity of a local jeweler who made a promise to share his profits with us, we have been able to contribute to another Women's business in Tanzania. This is the fifth women's business that 3 Degrees-Connected™ has been able to support.

This is 39 year old, Grace W. Mfune, is from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She is married with two children between the ages of 15 and 16. Grace has been running an African traditional cloth business called batik business since 2000. Her business is to make different kinds of batik and sell them. She works at the business between 9 to 12 hours per day, 6 days a week.

Grace currently earns about $200 (USD) from her business. She is requesting a loan of $775 in order to purchase cloth and dye for making batik. Grace has agreed to repayment terms of 14 months. In the future, she plans to increase the quantity and range of her stock. Grace thanks you for your support!

As funds are repaid, the opportunity exists for us to continue supporting women's business in other parts of the world. Please join us in this effort of creating a better life for women and families throughout the world. To see a map view or a listing the women we have helped, click here.

To join us in this effort, please join our group, and lend as little as $25.00.

Best Wishes, Hoping You Happy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Technologies, New Gadgets

When coming to a women's networking site, do you expect to learn about new technologies or new gadgets that are impacting the way we approach our businesses and/or our lives?

In perusing the Internet, the following article caught my eye regarding the development of gadgets that will help us to download books and share our experience with others. Piggy-backed on a previous article on this blog: Reading is Fundamental to Business Growth, it makes me wonder what type of reading materials will be available to download on E-books for business research. One model the Kindle DX will be used by many universities to download textbooks (a link to this article is attached below).

To learn more about E-book technologies, click on this link to read the article Next Up for E-Book Readers: Social Networking.

As you read this article, follow the related links at the bottom to learn more about specific brands of E-books like "Cool-er" and "Kindle DX".

Please comment:

Do you have an E-book? If so, what do you like, or dislike about the model you chose?

Do you plan to get one in the future? If so, what are you looking for when making your decision?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why Build a Women's Network?

Growing a women's network is no small task, but in the process of creating one, there are several looming question that I ponder.
  1. What value could a women's network have to West Michigan?
  2. What are women hoping to find that they've not found anywhere else?
  3. How often would women want to meet in order to make this a useful tool to assist them?
  4. How should we organize our events or meetings to have the greatest impact on those who attend?
Like everything else, I begin this quest with research. As I grow in knowledge, I will be happy to share those findings with you here in this blog. Occasionally we may conduct formal survey's to gain greater feedback to make sure we are on the right track to serving the needs of women who join us.
This morning while doing some preliminary research I jotted down some notes from women who shared their ideas about joining a women's network. Some of their input, which is shared below all indicates that there is a great benefit to women when networking with one another:
  • I enjoy meeting other women which can provide me with inspiration for my business endeavors. They often know what I’m going through.

  • I enjoy the aspect of creating a unified voice which can be more powerful than one person acting alone.

  • I am often very uncomfortable in networking events, but at the end of the evening I’m glad that I’ve gone. By taking me outside my comfort zone, it helps me to practice my interactive skills and create good business relationships with others.

  • As a small business owner, I often feel isolated and alone. I do not work closely with other individuals on a daily basis, so networking helps me to feel a part of a bigger unit, a family of sorts.

  • I have used forum settings on the Internet to network with others, this is an approach I like to take, when I’m pondering a problem that needs to be resolved, it is always good to gain the input from others. I use the network as a sounding board.

  • Finding mentors who can help and being a mentor is a very fulfilling aspect of networking with other women.

  • The network has a facet of giving back which is a great experience.
If you can think of any reasons why you might be interested in a women's network, please add your comments below. Your feedback will be useful as we move forward establishing solid goals and objectives. Thank you,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Privacy Policy

One of the tasks on my "to do" list, and possibly on yours too, is writing a "Privacy Policy" for a website.

People are never comfortable doing Internet business with you when they do not know you, and do not trust that the information they share with you will be secure. Like everything else for my business, research is necessary if I'm to learn how to do things properly. When I came across this article written by the Anti-SPAM organization, I felt like it was worth sharing as it had excellent content. So if you've been wondering about your existing privacy policy, or haven't gotten around to writing one yet, here are some good guidelines on what to include.

How to Write a Privacy Policy for your Website

Monday, June 1, 2009

Women Over 50 Talk

Whether you are a women over fifty, or marketing to women over fifty, what better place to learn about what is important to women of this demographic than Vibrant Nation is a web destination founded by Stephen Reily and Senior Strategist Carol Orsborn, PhD.

If the name Carol Orsborn, PhD sounds familiar, maybe you have read or heard about the book she co-authored with Mary Brown called BOOM (Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer - The Baby-Boomer Women).

As you access this website, you will be greeted with a video explaining how to use this site. This group can contribute a wealth of information to anyone wanting to understand the needs of this market demographic. You know this group understands women of our age when you join their site, they even let you chose the text size that works best for you!

According to a press release on May 20th, although this demographic is flocking to the Internet for connection and information, a study conducted by Vibrant Nation indicates that this group is still highly associated with traditional media such as newspaper, television and radio. For more information about this survey, I've attached a link to this article below:

Boomer Women Count the Internet as Primary News Source, But May Be Best Bet for Survival of Newspapers and TV News