WAF’s Five for Friday- The “What I learned from the Pink Event” Edition

little  pink bookNot the floating above the crowd, Glitter in the Air Pink, but the daily-dose-of-career-advice Little Pink Book Pink, whose 6th Annual Fall Empowerment Event I attended this past week. The event was hosted by Atlanta TV personality Suchita Vadlamani and featured a powerful panel of women including; Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, Pam Blalock, VP MetLife, Penny McIntyre, Group President, Newell Rubbermaid and New York Times Bestselling Author Emily Giffin. Well over 400 women were in attendance for the panel discussion and while it’s impossible to reproduce the feeling of being in a room with so many inspirational entrepreneurial minds, I can share with you five of the many things I learned.

1. This lesson was  WAF’s Facebook‘Thought of the day’ earlier in the week, and although it might sound harsh, it’s true – Hope is not a strategy. Hope is great, necessary, can help us get out of bed on a Monday morning and motivate us to make it through the day, but hope is not a strategy. A strategy is a systematic plan of action. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. So if strategy is the cake, hope is the decorative rose on top – everybody loves the candy rose, but the cake is the main thing.

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Pamela Grossman – Living In the Present: Part 2

rejuvenate

On Monday I ran part 1 of my interview with WAF Whirly Girl, Pamela Grossman. At 40 Pamela was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder, leaving her in a  self described deep abyss of terror, unable to function “normally” for years. Today she discusses how the disorder led to creating In the Present and how she’s facing her challenges head on…

On “In the Present”

As debilitating as her anxiety disorder was, Pamela knew she’d still have to pay her bills and that she’d have to work from home to do it. She recalls sitting on the floor of her living room thinking, “this is my new future. I’m in the present and I have to make the best of it.”  Calling on her years of production experience and her artistic eye, Pamela created In the Present, a high-end corporate and personal gift business. In addition to gifts, her company also creates business branding and printed materials. Current and former clients include Disney, BMW, The American Cancer Society and Turner Broadcasting. (photo: In the Present’s Rejuvenate)

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Living In the Present: Pamela Grossman – Part 1

pams headshot off the beach balcony How this WAF Whirly Girl launched a successful business, despite being stricken with a debilitating anxiety disorder.

Last week I wrote about being stronger than our fears. I received quite a few emails and comments over on the Facebook page from other women at forty facing their own unique fears. One wrote about going back to school and being anxious about the 20-year -olds in class alongside her. Another wrote about becoming a mom later in life and being mistaken for her child’s grandmother. For most of us these types of fears boil down to mind over matter. Overcoming them involves having less doubt, a little more faith and a dash of “who cares what you think.”  But what if your fears ran deeper – much deeper? What if there was a clinical reason for the fears that haunted you.

If you’re Pamela Grossman you find a way to live through the fear. In fact, you thrive despite of it. That’s exactly what Pamela did when at 40 she was stricken with debilitating panic attacks that seemingly came out of nowhere. Pamela’s the third woman to be featured as a Women at Forty Whirly Girl, and a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk to her at length about the panic disorder that changed her life, her gift business, In the Present, and how she’s living life in her 40’s… (photo: Pamela Grossman)

Continue reading Living In the Present: Pamela Grossman – Part 1

WAF’s Whirly Girl: Liza Figueroa Kravinsky

Liza Figueroa Kravinsky If you caught Monday’s post, you know that I’m starting a regular feature called Woman at Forty’s Whirly Girls. WAF’s Whirly Girls are women in their 40’s who are innovators, risk takers and who’ve chosen the road less traveled. One of the first WAF Whirly Girl’s I had the privilege of interviewing was Liza Figueroa Kravinsky. Liza’s the award winning filmmaker whose documentary, Beauty: In the Eyes of the Beheld, explores the curses and blessings of being beautiful. She’s also President of the video production company Art Palette Productions, a music composer, and actress. (Photo: Liza Figueroa Kravinsky)

I was curious about Liza’s experiences as a filmmaker and entrepreneur, especially after she responded to a question I’d posted on WAF’s Facebook page about being laid off. Having experienced three lay-offs over the course of my career and trying desperately to “rise from the ashes” I was curious as to how other women handled their suddenly-unemployed status. Liza responded that she’d been laid off twice, but that it “always led to something better.” I wanted to hear more. Here’s some of what Liza and I talked about…

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Women at Forty’s Whirly Girls

Rosie the Riveter Women are starting small business at twice the rate of men, 10.6 million firms are at least 50% owned by a woman or women, and women-owned firms employ 19.1 million people and generate $2.5 trillion in sales annually*.  Behind these facts and figures are the names and faces of women, just like many of us, who had a vision, and despite of – and sometimes because of adversity- are finding ways to make their dreams reality.

One of the unexpected benefits of launching The Women at Forty Project has been meeting some of these very women. I’ve been so inspired by them that I’m launching a new series in our Money & Career section called Women at Forty’s Whirly Girls. The term “Whirly Girl” refers to the elite group of less than 1,700 female helicopter pilots in the world. For me the term represents women who are innovators, risk takers and who’ve chosen the often bumpy, usually risky, road less traveled.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be introducing you to women in their 40’s who are doing just that. From an award winning musician and documentarian whose dream career began only after being fired, to a TV producer forced to start her own business after being struck with a debilitating disorder, these women represent the strength and determination that has come to personify 40.  (Photo: 1942’s Rosie the Riveter) Continue reading Women at Forty’s Whirly Girls