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Hey Girl! Meet Badass Businesswoman Jessica Kizorek

I was so honored to speak with someone whom I really admire, Jessica Kizorek. To me this woman embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship. She’s using her skills to make the world better, and doing it in such a smart and sassy way that I like and appreciate.

Say it Boldly

First of all, Jessica is a master of naming her enterprises. I hate it when I see entrepreneurs who take the action of setting up their own shingle and then ruin the whole thing by giving it some boring name that fails to differentiate their idea. Isn’t that the reason that you struck out on your own in the first place – because you wanted to bring a new idea to the world? The whole thing is entirely contradictory.

I was impressed when I asked Jessica where the name of her media production company Two Parrot Productions came from, and she explained:

“Parrots fly above and present a bird’s eye view. In a similar way, I look down on different complex situations and make videos that make sense of them.”

So elegantly put, and so clear.

See, that’s the thing many entrepreneurs miss; if you want people to buy into what you are doing, make it easy for them to understand. Clarity and simplicity and invaluable in the busy world of business. Jessica is a self-proclaimed communications expert because she’s in the business of marketing, but in a sense every entrepreneur has to be a communications expert to some degree.

You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate it so that people get it, that they actually get it instantly and are inspired by what you are talking about, it will get washed out in the sea of endless distractions that is today’s business world.

Jessica also has a networking group called BadassBusinesswomen.Org. Again, straight to the point, she conveys the idea of bringing together bold women who are on a mission to achieve something great. Said with zest! I love this for several reasons. One, I think women are often discouraged from being too brash whereas men get away with it all the time – hence why I love the word “badass.” In fact, I would consider myself a badass.

Also, I love how, according to Jessica, “people are either totally attracted or totally repelled to the title.” This from a woman who, as far as I can see, is taken to wearing vivid-colored business suites that brighten up the room.

Good. I think that is how it should be.

I keep saying this over and over again as a marketing consultant to financial advisors: the specialists beats the generalist every time. Stop trying to appeal to everybody because in doing so you make your message so wishy-washy that it winds up inspiring nobody.

This is a risk that 99% of people are scared to take. True you may fall on your face sometimes but as long as overall your lovers are more than your haters you are definitely going to get somewhere.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

I love how Jessica understands that the spirit of entrepreneurship isn’t attached just to the action of creating a company and building it. It’s more a spirit, something inside the core of you, who you are. Jessica differentiates between being an entrepreneur, or what she cleverly calls an “intrapreneur”, and entrepreneur inside a company.

But either way, here’s her take on what drives it:

“You’re required to have a lot of courage in business whether you’re an entrepreneurship or an intrapreneur. You define yourself by how you respond to challenges, whether you rise to the occasion or get overwhelmed and turn the other way.”

And it looks like she’s taken the former approach. She’s using her skills to change the world for women, working with the United Nations, in one example, in another, flying to Brazil to film a documentary about how violence towards women can be systematically addressed and eliminated.

Advice to Women Entrepreneurs

Jessica and I share a passion for making the world better for women. During our talk I was able to glean such an invaluable piece of advice for female entrepreneurs.

I love that!

One of the ways that I personally would like to see the world change is having women own more assets. Owning a business, you are in control of your biggest asset in life: your income stream.

So if that’s true then why are so many female-run businesses failing to hit the six figure mark?

Jessica says, “Most women start their businesses in their kitchen. They don’t come at it from the perspective of how is it scalable, how do I employ other people. It’s taking the perspective of being a job creator. One of my greatest ambitions has always been to create jobs.”

Well said, and in truth this is something that few people consider when they start a business: the ability to spur economic wellbeing for others around you. Most people start it with the intention of changing the world with the service or product they create and don’t give much thought to the positive economic byproducts of your organization’s success.

In our talk, Jessica and I discussed where we think women are going wrong and agreed that it involves selling. Women have evolutionarily survived in groups which is why sometimes we are averse to making anyone feel uncomfortable.

Women, ask for the sale! That’s our vote. We support women going out and knocking on doors to pursue new clients.

And Jessica said it so aptly, “Sales turns people off, but seduction turns people on.” Her work currently entails creating what she calls an irresistible personal brand that makes people more apt to buy from you.

How do you do that? Get in touch with me and I can make a few suggestions!

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Hey Girl! Shouting Out Ladybossblogger

SaraGrillo.com - Ladybossblogger Elaine Rau - Female Entrepreneurship

Do I really need to introduce her, actually? I’m assuming most of you may know her by now. Ladybossblogger is a blog started by Elaine Rau to showcase female entrepreneurial brands. This website is a must visit for any woman entrepreneur and is too good not to write about – so I had to interview her.

I can’t speak for everyone else, but here are four reasons why I love Ladybossblogger.

#1 The Blog is Easy to Read

Elaine gets to the point and is respectful of your time. For example, on her website she explains why she created the blog by giving a quick summary and then saying, “read my quick 1 min story below.”

I love it. One of the biggest reasons that things get skimmed, not read, is that people don’t know how to make a point concisely.

And this speaks to a point I make all the time with my clients. Forget about the big block paragraphs. Anytime you write more than 2-3 sentences start a new paragraph.

Yes!

It’s a shocking departure from how things have been written in the past but with attention spans so short and online media assaulting everyone’s consciousness every time they go near a computer, you’re never going to be able to compete unless you get to the point quickly.

If you look at her blog, she frequently uses bulleted lists, graphics, highlighting, all caps, and bold face type to emphasize her points. It. Communicating this way really does offer a service to the reader.

Takeaway: Never block text and always ask yourself how much attention people really have to pay to your blog in order to absorb what you are trying to say.

#2 She’s Humble, Socially Minded, and a GIVER

It only takes a few seconds for you to realize that Elaine Rau is out for the good of society. For all of you reading this who want to blow up your brand, I’m constantly advocating for people to associate themselves with something bigger than themselves and GIVE to other people.

There is no more potent tool for any entrepreneur than giving. It never gets old, you can never give too much, and the more you give the more you receive.

Take this example.

Her blog is dedicated to the Micah Project, a non profit that serves the Honduran community. It was this organization that influenced her husband and created opportunities that led to his success in life.

Her goal is to change lives in Honduras – pretty noble, wouldn’t you say?

In addition to making her grounded and humble, this goal also provides what many entrepreneurs lose sight of which is a focus on driving to the end goal.  See it clearly or you lose direction and confusion is the enemy of progress.

To quote Elaine, “We think small when our world is small, it’s time to think outside of yourself and how you can change the world in a small way.”

Takeaway: Always ask yourself what the purpose of your work is, and do it each and every day.

#3 She Has the Courage to Be Honest

If you read Elaine’s story, there are numerous times in life when she could have settled or accepted less than optimal treatment. Her refusal to stand for certain things is an inspiration to other women who are in situations that aren’t the best and want better for themselves.

For example, she asked for time off when her husband’s brother was murdered and her boss said no, so she quit her job. She lived in Honduras and saw street youth being impacted by violence, so she started a blog to help fight it.

And by the way, her candid explanation of the purpose of what she was doing indubitably played a role in its success. She gained tens of thousands of followers in a short time after the blog’s inception.

Takeaway: People are attracted to those who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Say the truth you are afraid to say and you’ll see so many others inspired by your wisdom.

#4 She Inspires Others to Take Action

I personally think that people in general, and especially women, tend to stay in situations for fear of not being able to do any better. So many people complain but when it comes to taking action, very few people will do so.

As detailed in items #1-3, I think it’s great that Elaine didn’t accept a situation that she knew was wrong and took action to make change, over and over again. This was pivotal to gaining influence, inspiring other people to rise up as leaders, and to encourage other people to get past their limitations.

Even when Elaine started her blog, she wanted to turn back. But she somehow found the courage to persist and keep going.

Taking actions that are true to yourself is an act of loving yourself –and that in turn enables you to love other people more fully.

For example, when Elaine was a model she learned how to hustle. According to her, “No one hands you a golden ticket, you need to constantly be marketing yourself in order to get people’s attention. Once you have it, you need to …continue putting your best foot forward to stay hired.”

It’s refreshing to hear this notion of not resting on your laurels. Complacency is a huge inhibitor of performance. We’re all fired up in the beginning but it is human nature to coast once we experience some success. These little hiccups are the reason many entrepreneurs are caught off guard and fail.

Takeaway: Time is more valuable than money. Use time to take action to achieve your goals and you’ll see massive success.

Sara’s Summary

As a female entrepreneur myself, I love it when I see another successful woman running a business. I support Ladybossblogger’s mission to change the world by redefining the role women play in business, giving us more of a voice, and doing it all in a loving and kind manner. I encourage all of you reading this to visit Ladybossblogger and check out what she has to say!