Speaker Articles

Startup Savvy: How to Raise Cash on Kickstarter

Ten years ago, Kathy Strahs had at least one thing in common with Oprah Winfrey: Strahs’ panini press, a Christmas present from her sister, was one of her favorite things, too. Home with a new baby, Strahs got busy in the kitchen and started blogging about her recipes for the appliance.

“I really enjoyed the creative process and would stay up late and work through the night,” recalls the former marketer. “I had never been a workaholic before, but for the first time I loved what I was doing and felt invigorated.”

Her aptly named blog, Panini Happy, eventually led to a cookbook on the same topic. When her next idea, The 8×8 Cookbook, wasn’t picked up—“Publishers didn’t think the panini press person could sell books about an 8 x 8 inch pan”—Strahs decided to publish the book herself and start a publishing company, Burnt Cheese Press. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Innovation, Life on Your Terms, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Small Business, Transitions Tagged , |

Could Your Emails Be Hurting the Friends You’re Trying to Help?

Lori MackenzieTechnology hasn’t only made it easier to stay in touch with former colleagues, old classmates and far-flung friends. It has also made asking them for favors such as referrals and introductions as effortless as hitting send.

Likewise, when you’re on the receiving end of such a request, it’s less or little hassle, in this age of email, to help a contact out.

But before you make another ask or agree to act as connector, consider this: some e-introductions can actually be harmful to women. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Networking Tagged , |

Dreaming of Pivoting to a More Purposeful Career?

Most of us have had days at work when we think about chucking it all and doing something “meaningful” with our lives. Certainly, Becky Margiotta did 15 years ago, when she worked as a stockbroker. Yet Margiotta, who left the financial sector and has since led a campaign across the country that mobilized 186 cities to put 105,000 homeless people into permanent housing, cautions against over-romanticizing the non-profit sector—or discounting the value of working for a corporation.

After all, just because your company is turning a profit doesn’t mean that its products or services aren’t doing good. “For example, take a mortgage broker, whose line of work isn’t usually seen as altruistic,” says Margiotta, now the co-founder and CEO of The Billions Institute, which trains executives at foundations and nonprofits how to design and lead large-scale change. “But mortgage brokers who work in the spirit of service and conscientiousness do help people—they help them realize their dreams of owning a home.”

Still, if you find yourself pondering, more and more, a switch to the nonprofit world, here’s Margiotta’s advice: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Transitions Tagged , |

Three Simple Work Practices That Will Help You Advance

Being at the right place at the right time. You hear this a lot from successful people talking about their careers. But luck isn’t all of the story. It also doesn’t make for helpful career advice.

Enter Amy Trask, former CEO of the Oakland Raiders. It could be said that with the NFL team, she got lucky: she landed an internship in the front office the summer before her last year of law school, a job that required legal expertise opened about a year after she graduated, her boss was supportive and did what he could to help her advance within the organization.

But Trask, who is now CEO of new basketball league Big 3 and a football analyst on CBS Sports, will readily describe her actions that led to her being at each right place and time. She cold-called the Raiders and talked her way into an internship, and she worked tirelessly for the organization, happily doing anything to learn more about the business, which is why the front office remembered her a year or so later. “I would have played tackle if they’d asked me,” she says. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Job Advancement, Life on Your Terms Tagged , |

We Asked Nely Galán: How Do You Achieve Work-Life Balance?

“Work-life balance is different at each stage of your life. Honestly, I don’t believe it exists when you’re young, working multiple jobs, creating side hustles, figuring out your mission and money—and you have the energy and life force to do all of this.

“For me, work-life balance didn’t exist until my 40s, after my years of exploration and achievement—and so to speak ‘landing the plane.’ To cut down on my commuting time, I moved my company offices to the two cottages next door to my house, which I owned and had been renting out. This changed my life! Sweatpants became my best friend, I got to the office earlier so I finished earlier, and most importantly, I had more quality time with my son. I saw him every day when he came home from school. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life Balance Tagged , |