Learn How This Member Figured Out How to Travel the World “on business”.

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Virginia DeDAD,

Owner, Royal Service Travel

Virginia DeDad_220Describe your business in 3 sentences. What is it?
Full Service travel agency, American Express Affiliate Agency offering cruises, all inclusives, Europe, family vacations, honeymoons, destination weddings, multi-gen travel, with the most comprehensive customer service available!

What inspired you to start your business?

My passion for travel, having visited over 84 countries and sailed on 90 cruises and my ability to handle all phases of clients requests.

How do you stand out from the crowd? What distinguishes your business from the competition?

Totally my customer service and knowledge. I hand hold my customers from inception of their travel ideas to welcoming them home and keeping them abreast of travel opportunities in which they may be interested.

What does it mean to you to be “the entrepreneur of your life”? How do you integrate your life and your business, your personal brand and your business brand?

To me, they are all one. If you have integrity, caring and organization in your personal life that automatically carries over to your business. I handle each client with the same enthusiasm and care as if they were my family. It doesn’t matter if their travel is short or extensive, everyone deserves the same amount of attention.

What did it cost to start your business? How did you find the funds? Is your business profitable?

The cost to start my business was 10,000 for the franchise and an additional 12,000 for the office equipment and start up.

How long did it take to get started and what business tools have helped you the most?

The first two years were spent familiarizing myself with the back office and networking to get my name out locally. As I had previous experience in the travel world, the accounting and internal office procedures were new to me.

What is the single biggest thing you would say an entrepreneur has to be armed with in order to succeed?

Faith, a tough skin and good work ethic.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Be prepared for the road of hard work, long hours and the ability to overcome downfalls.

Are there any words of advice, books, role models, or mentors that really inspired and changed you?

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a book I return to all the time. The wisdom and insight if provides is timeless. Also, Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling has several tips and principles for great sales.

What is your ultimate future dream for yourself and / or your business?

My ultimate dream is to have several agents working for me that carry the same enthusiasm for my clients and to continue to grow my reputation as THE agency to go to.

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Online Marketing and Social Media Consultant Will Answer Your Questions. Read This Member’s Story.

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Amy PORTERFIELD,

Social Media Consultant and Trainer

Amy Porterfield

Listen to Amy’s webinar with LWL.

Describe your business in 3 sentences. What is it?
I’m an online marketing and social media consultant. I create online programs that teach entrepreneurs how to use online marketing strategies and social media marketing to grow their business and increase their online exposure. My goal is to keep it simple while teaching the strategies that get real results.

What inspired you to start your business?
I worked closely with Tony Robbins for over six years, managing his content development and marketing divisions. I had an amazing opportunity to learn business and communication strategies from the best of the best. Tony always talked about the rewards of creating your own business and I knew in my heart I wanted to create something on my own. After six years, I finally got the courage to take everything I had learned to step out on my own . . . and I’ve never looked back!

How do you stand out from the crowd? What distinguishes your business from the competition?
My style of consulting and teaching is unique because my goal is to keep things simple, yet help my clients be extremely strategic and smart in their overall online marketing plans. I know that social media can be extremely overwhelming, confusing at times and very time consuming. I teach my clients how to sift through all the online noise, focus only on what will get them results, and ultimately help them create a plan that works for their unique style and business goals.

What did it cost to start your business? How did you find the funds? Is your business profitable?
Because I started out consulting, it only cost me a few thousand dollars to set up my website, get incorporated and set up an online shopping cart to process my consulting fees. I also spent some money on training programs to make sure I stayed on top of the trends and was skilled in the best strategies possible in my field. Starting an online business does not need to be expensive, especially if you start out teaching and consulting and do not produce anything physical. I’ve run a very lean business from the beginning and it has been profitable from day one. I think I’ve been able to be successful because I only do what I know I do best (consulting, overall strategy, teaching). If I need something done that is not in my skill set, I outsource it. I make more money by focusing on what I do best and outsourcing what will take me two to three times longer if I try to do it myself. Time is precious and I am happier (and more profitable!) doing what I love.

How long did it take to get started and what business tools have helped you the most?
I was fortunate to make money from the first day I went out on my own, however getting things to go smoothly did not happen overnight! It took about a year for things to really start to click and start moving along smoothy. The saying “What you don’t know, you don’t know” is so true! As for tools to help me out, I invested right away in online training programs. I sought out the best of the best in my industry (and even some programs outside of my industry), and enrolled in whatever programs they had to offer. This massively propelled my business forward quickly. I firmly believe in learning from the best of the best… it’s the only way to go!

What is the single biggest thing you would say an entrepreneur has to be armed with in order to succeed?
Every entrepreneur needs the 3 Ps when first starting out: Patience, Passion and a Peer Group that is more successful than she is currently.

Patience because starting your own business is HARD WORK and there is no way around it. You have to pay your dues, work at it with all heart and you must know that the success, if it is to last, will not happen overnight. Every successful entrepreneur I respect has a story of working toward his or her success for many years. You have to be patient or you’ll miss out on the big rewards.

Passion because if you don’t truly believe in what you are creating, you’re wasting your time, resources and money. Passion makes the difficult days worth it. Passion to succeed and see all my hard work pay off gets me out of bed every morning.

And lastly, having a peer group that is more successful than you is the best thing you can do for your overall success. I learned this one from my years working with Tony Robbins. Surround yourself with successful, passionate entrepreneurs you respect and admire. Put yourself in situations where the playing field is high. Consider spending the money to join a mastermind with people that are a bit “out of your league”–not only will you learn priceless lessons and strategies from them, but you will be pushed to step out of your comfort zone and do things you’ve never thought of doing before. My peer groups have truly been the secret to my success!

What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Stay with it! If you’re creating something you truly believe in, and you’re willing to do the hard work to get things moving, you will never look back. The first few years are tough and therefore perseverance (and a little faith!) are a necessity!

Are there any words of advice, books, role models, or mentors that really inspired and changed you?
It may seem too simple, but my words of advice are this: Be good to people. I think we’re all in the business of taking care of others, no matter what we do in our business. Come from the place that people are good. Try to seek out opportunities to make someone’s day, support others’ needs and help them out. When you do this, your success is inevitable.

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Meet the Ladies Whose Friendship Began With an Umbrella.

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Kerri GORMAN and Karen FOY

Founders Gorman Foy

Kerri GORMAN and Karen FOYFeatured Ladies Kerri Gorman and Karen Foy knew that starting a company with a friend was risky, but they’ve made it work to the tune of $1.7 million in annual revenue. Since meeting on a rainy day at the University of North Texas, the co-eds forged a best friendship that has successfully weathered the uncertainties of business ownership. After leaving their corporate jobs in 2001, Kerri and Karen launched Gorman Foy, Inc. – a printing and promotions business that now includes graphic design and copywriting, in addition to many other services. Gorman Foy has been profitable since its first full year in 2002 and boasts an impressive 90% client retention rate.
Immediately before launching Gorman Foy, Kerri was in sales and visuals for an interior design showroom in the Dallas World Trade Center. She was also a buyer for Harold’s, a chain of upscale women and men’s apparel stores and spent nearly ten years in the gift and gourmet business. Karen was an outside printing representative for The Odee Company – a commercial sheet-fed printer, who also specialized in digital imaging and specialty finishing. Previously, she was a sales representative for ABCO, where she sold offset printing, digital imaging, tabs and binders.

Despite successful careers, Kerri and Karen weren’t feeling fulfilled. “I wasn’t happy where I worked,” Kerri says. “And I kept hearing Karen talk about printing.” Even though neither woman admits to entrepreneurial aspirations, they decided to start a company together.

However, Gorman Foy wasn’t the ladies’ initial attempt at entrepreneurship. “Our first go at it was K&K Solutions, a custom gift basket business which Kerri and I started on the side of our careers,” says Karen. “It was craziness, outlandish hours and a lot of hard work.” Unfortunately, the company didn’t make any money, but they had loads of fun!

“It was a lot of stress, but also a lot of laughs, and I think that’s when we realized how much our personalities complement each other when it comes to business,” Kerri says.

That’s when the idea of Gorman Foy began to brew. “Our personalities and our backgrounds in printing and buying seemed like a perfect blend,” says Karen. “It just took a last nudge from our husbands for us to make that jump and we’ve never looked back!”

When pondering a name for their company, Kerri and Karen had the foresight that their business was going to grow and progress. Not wanting to be pigeonholed due to a business moniker, Karen and Kerri purposely named the company Gorman Foy utilizing “Printing and Promotions” as a tagline only, allowing for changes as their business evolved.

Like many small businesses, Kerri and Karen faced a challenge with start-up capital while trying to establish Gorman Foy. “We approached banks for a loan but were treated like little girls,” says Karen. So, each woman put in $20,000 – Kerri using a personal credit card and Karen borrowing money from her dad, which she paid back with interest.

In July 2001, with a portfolio of clients that Karen managed during her many years in commercial printing sales, the best friends launched Gorman Foy out of Karen’s house, which served as their office for the next nine months. Nine years later, Gorman Foy has progressed with the industry and its founders are proud to describe themselves as print, promotions and graphic communication experts. “We dare to call ourselves ‘enthusiasts,’ because we are truly passionate, even fanatical, about what we do,” Karen says.

“The printing business has changed over the past two to three years due to the economy. We added web design a few years ago to evolve our services,” Kerri says. “When we started, 80% of our business was printing and today it makes up 40%.”
Kerri and Karen know first-hand that owning a company with your BFF can be a great experience, but there are also logistical issues. “We can’t be pregnant at the same time or take vacations together,” says Karen. “We’ve had to switch off having kids.”

Both women are wives and mothers to two children. “I got pregnant nine months after we launched the company,” Kerri says. “The balance has gotten easier, but early on there were a lot of late nights and bouncy seats in the office.”
Today, Gorman Foy has five employees as well as several freelancers and boasts an impressive client list that spans a variety of industries.

What we learned from Karen and Kerri: “Being in business with your best friend makes for a real interesting combo.”

Live It
Karen: “You can have a career life and personal life. It’s OK to want both or just one. Don’t let society’s standards deter you from doing what you want.”

Keep It To Yourself
Kerri: “Try to do it on your own without getting any investors involved. Have a vision for what you want.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Meet the Lady Who Founded ‘Small Business Television’.

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Susan SOLOVIC

CEO, SBTV


Susan Solovic, SBTVHaving worked as a journalist in the traditional broadcast field, Featured Lady Susan Solovic was dismayed that there was very little coverage of small business. Her idea was to create an electronic mass media outlet focused on the needs of small business owners. In 2004, Susan and her partners launched SBTV.com (Small Business Television), the first and only video news and information destination site for America’s small businesses. SBTV provides credible, unbiased content, produced by award-winning small business journalists, thought leaders and experts, to help small businesses start, grow, protect and manage their enterprises. By the company’s second year it surpassed one million dollars in revenue.

A licensed attorney with a B.A. in history and political science, Susan’s career started in television as a news anchor and reporter. She then moved into the corporate world in the area of public relations, advertising and marketing. “I became Vice President/Director of Corporate Marketing for a division of ITT Corporation,” Susan says. “At the time, I was the first female executive in my division and one of the highest ranking women in the entire worldwide operations of ITT.”
While working in an executive capacity Susan attended night law school where she graduated with honors. A serial entrepreneur since the age of 15, in 1998 she launched Susan-Says® and began writing books, doing motivational speaking and consulting. “I’ve since authored four books and am getting ready to release my fifth next year,” she says.

To get Small Business Television started, Susan purchased the domain from a woman who had a website called SBTV. Then Susan began to think about what she wanted SBTV to be. Along with her two partners, she began to visualize the concept of television on the Internet. “When we launched the business in 2004, people said we were nuts,” she says. “Video on the internet would never work.”
Susan and her partners used personal funds to finance the launch of the SDTV and the business was profitable before the end of its second year. “We almost accepted a venture capital deal, but walked away,” says Susan. “Whether or not you bring in investors is up to each individual business owner, but if you do you have to be prepared to give up a lot of control.”
In fact, in October 2006 SBTV was selected as Best Investment Opportunity by the venture capitalists who attended a daylong Silicon Valley venture forum where Susan presented.

With SBTV, Susan knew she had defined a niche because there was a clear market need. She and the other partners originally thought about making SBTV a cable channel with a web component, but starting a cable channel cost millions of dollars, capital they simply didn’t have. “But we believed in the near future, media consumers would demand when, where and how they would consume media,” Susan says. “Therefore, it wouldn’t matter if you were on the Internet or traditional broadcast. Plus, producing and delivering via the Internet is much more cost effective.”
SBTV remains the only site primarily delivering news and information in a video format. Small business owners who are time and resource constrained can get information more quickly in an electronic media format than they can reading print on their computer screens.

With SBTV fully operational, Susan added yet another business initiative, Susan Solovic Media, where she positions herself, her content and her products as a small business expert, keynote speaker and media personality. “I am working with ABC News as a small business contributor in addition to appearing regularly on many other media platforms and blogging for major media outlets,” Susan says.

What we learned from Susan: “You have to understand that if you think small in the beginning, you’ll stay small.”

Add Passion, Mix Well
“Passion is an important ingredient when you are building a business, but passion doesn’t make payroll.”

At the Foundation
“You have to understand the fundamental building blocks of business in order to create a successful, sustainable enterprise.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Meet the Lady Who’s a Pioneer in the Blogosphere

Elisa Camahort PAGE

Co-Founder, COO, BlogHer

Elisa Camahort PageFeatured Lady Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for BlogHer, left a lucrative Silicon Valley career in technology product management and became a blogosphere pioneer. One of the first professional and business bloggers on the web, Elisa and her two co-founders grew BlogHer to 48 full-time employees, 2,500 bloggers in the publishing company and tens of thousands of website members. Prior to launching BlogHer, Elisa owned a consulting business that was among the first to integrate corporate marketing strategies into the social media environment. As COO, she leads events, marketing, public relations and research for BlogHer, while working to ensure that all company operations deliver to plan.

During the dot-com bust, Elisa quit her high-level, high paying marketing job and began blogging as “a personal thing.” Elisa admits not having entrepreneurial aspirations because she thought she’d follow her mom’s career path climbing the corporate ladder. However, Elisa had two realizations during her time away from the traditional nine to five churn, one being that she wasn’t looking for another job in her former industry. “I just couldn’t do it,” she says. Elisa also recognized that the blogging activities she was playing with were actually a form of marketing. “It was my peanut butter and chocolate moment,” she says.

Prior to launching BlogHer with Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone in 2005, pundits were posing the question, “Where are the women?” Elisa says, “Specifically, people were asking where are all the women were in Fortune 500 companies, on the Op/Ed pages, on Sunday morning talk shows, in Congress and speaking at conferences.” So, Elisa, Jory and Lisa, who were all blogging in different spaces and had serendipitously met, wondered if there’d be any interest if they hosted a conference by and about women bloggers. Since the era was pre-Twitter and before Facebook was open to non-college students, they blogged about the idea and gained support. In 120 days all 300 tickets to the event sold out. “We received an immediate, positive and passionate response,” Elisa says.

Following the first BlogHer Conference, the trio reviewed the feedback and decided the attendees wanted three things. The first was another conference. Second, although it was nice to meet people, they sought a central place to revisit everyone everyday, so BlogHer.com was launched. The third request was a way to make money blogging, which in 2006 became the BlogHer Publishing Network. Initially using personal finances to get the company off the ground, Elisa says, “We were just three chicks with credit cards when we launched BlogHer.”

Elisa says that in early 2006, she, Lisa and Jory experienced a rough transition period when they agreed to phase out their own consulting clients and focus full-time on BlogHer. “We were paying people and growing organically, but had no steady income,” she explains. “I was fortunate to have saved two years of my full-time salary, but still accrued $25,000 on my credit cards and used a $25,000 home equity line of credit. I spent my life savings and racked up debt.”

Later that year, the co-founders realized the potential in ad revenue and knew they needed to go big in order to get the larger advertisers. “We recognized that someone in traditional, established media could leapfrog over us and do this,” Elisa says. “It would have been really frustrating if another entity did it instead of us.”

Although Elisa, Jory and Lisa weren’t planning on taking outside investors, after two years of bootstrapping the Redwood City, California based company got its first round of venture capital funding – right before the economy bottomed out. “We were fortunate to already be VC backed,” Elisa says. “We had been around for three years and were an established site.”

Today, BlogHer.com is the quintessential guide to and source for blogs by women. With 23 million unique visitors each month, its mission is to create opportunities for blogging women to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment. The company provides the number one community for and guide to blogs by women via annual conferences, a web community and blogging news hub, as well as a publishing syndicate of more than 2,500 qualified, contextually targeted blog affiliates.

What we learned from Elisa: “Ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen if I tried something and it failed?’ Paint the picture.”

Yes, They Did

“One of our best moments was landing an exclusive interview with then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama.”

Money Market

“The economy is an ongoing challenge. We’ve hit our targets and fought for every dollar because you can’t know when it will ease up.”

Content Rich

“Our vision is that BlogHer is the future of media for women. BlogHer is a women’s media company, but it’s not a pink and purple silo. It’s all the lifestyle programming you’re used to seeing, plus politics and tech and hard news and finance and so on. We serve the whole woman, while women create the content and get paid for their words and work.”

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This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Wants You to Get a Second Opinion

Lisa OZ

Founder and President – Ozworks, LLC; writer, actress, producer, and co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah Radio, Sirius and XM – LisaOz.com

Lisa OzFeatured Lady Lisa Oz considers herself a professional dilettante. An actress, screenwriter, producer and frequent co-host of The Dr. Oz Show on Oprah & Friends XM radio telecast with her husband, Dr. Mehmet Oz, she is also the founder and President of Ozworks, LLC, a media investment consulting firm and directs Pine Room Pictures, a production company specializing in family-friendly media. Lisa focuses much of her life on health, well-being and spirituality, and co-authored three New York Times best sellers, including YOU: The Owner’s Manual series. A health advocate and Reiki master, Lisa is a spokesperson for HealthCorps, the organization her husband founded to work with schools to prevent childhood obesity. Lisa and Mehmet, married for 22 years, have four children, Oliver, Daphne, Zoe and Arabella.

Lisa was speaking in New York on November 8-9, 2010
at Dream It! Launch It! Live It!

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, Lisa attended Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary. A pre-med major while in school – her father and brother are both surgeons – Lisa dreamed of being an actress, which was not a favorable vocation in the eyes of her family. “Katharine Hepburn was an alumna of Bryn Mawr and she spoke at my graduation,” Lisa recalls. “She was so smart, talented, independent and really headstrong. She motivated me.”

Growing up, Lisa’s mom also inspired her. “My mother was brilliant, she was very much her own person,” she says. “I have six siblings, but my mother always maintained her own life. She earned two advanced theology degrees, was a minister and a local politician.”

Lisa eventually enrolled at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, which led to her appearing in a few television pilots, commercials and movies during her decade-long acting career. However, Lisa’s occupation was never number one in her life. “My priority has always been my family,” she says. “I was never willing to go to Los Angeles for pilot season, or be part of traveling shows.” However, her exposure the industry gave her the insight to later spearhead the show Second Opinion with Dr. Oz.

US_Lisa_Oz_1As someone who never pitched a television show to a network before, Lisa believes that one of her best moments was when she “had the guts” to approach executives about her idea. “I felt strongly that my husband could make a big difference,” Lisa recalls. The series ultimately launched on the Discovery Channel and, with the support of a network executive who was also Dr. Oz’s Harvard roommate, aired in 2003 – 2004. The show helped viewers wade through confusing and contradictory medical advice, while combining both non-traditional and modern medicinal practices.

For Lisa, the show was a result of her wanting to spend more time with her husband. “I dragged him into the media so we could be together,” she explains. “The message was patient empowerment and playing an active role in your own well-being.”

The YOU: The Owner’s Manual series resulted from the discussions on Second Opinion. “After the show went off the air, we had all this information, so Mehmet, Dr. Mike Roizen and I decided to put it into a book,” Lisa says. “Usually, medical books are either dry and technical, or are filled with heart-wrenching stories. My vision is to make health and medicine accessible, fun, approachable and easy to comprehend.”

Lisa was heavily involved with the first book and the diet book, and thrives in creative outlets. She feels strongly that doing what you love is more important than making money. “I knew that I’d wither in a nine to five environment, so I went where my skills lie,” she says. “I do what I enjoy the most, what I love and am most passionate about.”

“We have friends who are in their careers for the money. There never seems to be enough to justify the misery. Be happy to wake up to your role, if not, then switch jobs,” Lisa says.

“Being in the entertainment industry working on films and writing was something I really enjoyed. I would do anything, work as a production assistant or a grip, for no money because I loved it!”

She also advocates that it’s important to make a difference in the world while having fun. “We need a higher purpose. It needs to be fulfilling for us as well as fill a need in society and on the planet,” Lisa says. “Think big and do good in your venture.”

What we learned from Lisa: “Do what you love. Even if you’re in a job you dislike, find an aspect of it that you enjoy.”

Health Plan
“You hold the power to enhance your health – making even simple changes can have such a positive impact on one’s health. Value your body more. Buy a pedometer and count the steps. Make it fun.”

Vison Quest
“What ever you’re doing, look twenty years into the future.”

It’s All Good
“Most women juggle a mix of responsibilities and neglect taking the time to just stop and take a gratitude break. Good or bad, it’s relevant to say ‘thank you’ to everything that happens.”

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This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.
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Susan Gregg Koger

Meet the Lady Who Went From Weather Girl to Covering the World.

Joan LUNDEN

Award-winning television journalist, best-selling author, motivational
speaker, inventor, entrepreneur – JoanLunden.com

Joan Lunden Featured Lady Joan Lunden, one of America’s most recognizable and trusted TV personalities, built her career looking at things differently. From her days as a female pioneer in the news world and ascent into early morning network television to most recently offering women’s wellness retreats, launching a child safety product and introducing her home goods line, this former co-host of Good Morning America believes in the possibilities of an idea.

Joan, an award-winning television journalist, best-selling author, motivational speaker, inventor, entrepreneur and mother of seven, will be a speaker at the Ladies Who Launch Global Conference in New York on November 8– 9, 2010.

Before Joan paved the way the way for female broadcast journalists and became the longest-running host on early morning television, she was a 21 year-old college grad intending to work in the business world. That is, until a family friend encouraged her to explore TV news. With the Federal Communications Commission putting pressure on media companies to hire women in the early 1970s, Joan called a local Sacramento station and asked for an interview. Although her on-camera presence impressed the news director, he didn’t have an available position. However, the weatherman saw her audition and offered her the opportunity to be…a weather girl.

“Weather reporting was uninteresting to me but I had the good sense to say, ‘Yes,’” explains Joan. “There were no females and the industry needed smart, savvy and self-confident women.”

“My career afforded me the opportunity to cover some amazing, challenging and scary stories, like jumping out of a plane, climbing the Tetons and being at the controls of an F-18,” she says. “There were times when I’d leave my driveway in the morning, and think to myself, ‘I’m on my way to do what?’”

Joan quickly rose through the ranks at the station, which led her to leave California for a position at WABC New York and eventually become co-host of Good Morning America in 1980 – a role she held for almost 20 years. Although Joan was initially given the softer home and family beat to cover while the hard-hitting news went to her male co-host, during her tenure at GMA she reported from 26 countries, covered four presidents, five Olympics and two royal weddings.

“In the early years, I took the assignments they gave me and made them shine,” she says. “Actually, covering those stories on parenting, health and wellness have very much shaped my career.”

Since leaving GMA, Joan focused many of her projects on sharing wellness information and encouraging people, especially women, to take charge of their health and happiness. One such venture is Camp Reveille, a wellness getaway held in the Sebago Lake region of southern Maine for the past four years. Defined as “a wake-up call,” the program Joan developed allows women to energize their spirits, jump start a fitness program, connect with other ladies, renew sense of self and learn the tools needed to achieve a healthier balance in their lives.

“I saw a unique category that wasn’t being offered in the marketplace, so I created a new opportunity for women to travel to a nurturing and comfortable environment devoid of criticism,” Joan says. “Camp Reveille is a place where women motivate and inspire each other.”

KinderkordA big proponent of family, like many parents Joan knew the challenges of staying connected to her two sets of young twins while out in public. Knowing that it can only take a second for a child to vanish and not thrilled with the products available to keep kids close, Joan and her husband Jeff Konigsberg invented their own. Joan says, “We knew there had to be a better way.” After a year of designing, developing, testing and manufacturing, the couple introduced KinderKord, a retractable, wrist-to-wrist hands-free connection that keeps a child physically attached to an adult without the stigma of a leash or harness.

When it was time, Joan called the Babies-R-Us headquarters and got an appointment to show KinderKord to the buyers. “Jeff and I were there with 40 other people also hoping to sell their product,” Joan says. “We had 30 minutes to pitch KinderKord. They bought it and we launched two years ago.”

Adding to Joan’s entrepreneurial pursuits aimed at making women’ lives easier, in May she debuted her home goods collection on QVC. Joan Lunden Home represents luxury, style and comfort at an affordable price point and each bedding collection is inspired by Joan’s travels during her 30-year career as a journalist. “QVC approached me to launch my line on their channel,” she says. “Why QVC? I’ve made my living on television, so this was the perfect choice. Plus, QVC really knows its customers.” Next year, Joan Lunden Home will add throws, towels and tabletop accessories.

Park AvenueUnlike celebrities who just license their name to products, Joan has been very involved with the design and production of her home goods line. “I wanted to align myself with a good manufacturer that uses quality materials that I can stand behind,” she says. “I don’t have to be as hands-on as I am, but it’s a lot more fulfilling for me in the end.”

A multifaceted career woman, Joan’s best-selling books include Healthy Cooking, Healthy LivingA Bend in the Road is Not the End of the Road, Wake Up Calls and Growing Up Healthy. She also has an exercise video, Workout America, a skincare line, Resurgence by Murad Skin Care, and hosts Lifetime’s Heath Corner on Sunday mornings.


What we learned from Joan: “If you want to be in the game, just say YES and then figure out how to do it.”

Just Imagine
“One of the most important traits a person can have is to find within themselves the ability to be open to possibilities. Most people greatly limit themselves and don’t see the possibilities in front of them.”

Decorating Made Simpler
“I’ve developed Joan Lunden Home to help make life a little bit easier today’s woman – so that she can have style in her home and still have time for herself.”

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This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe® Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Susan Gregg Koger

Myra Janco Daniels, Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex

8 Simple Strategies to Blog Your Way to Financial Freedom

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Myra Janco Daniels, Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex

Myra Janco Daniels
Founder, Chairman and CEO,
Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex

Long before Mad Men grabbed the attention of Americans by chronicling the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of 1960’s Madison Avenue advertising, Myra Janco Daniels was showing everyone how it was done. While in her mid-twenties, Myra entered this male-dominated industry when she launched Wabash Advertising in Terre Haute, Indiana. Within one year, she built it into a million dollar business. As an entrepreneur and pioneer, Myra was the first female to run a national advertising firm and the first woman associate professor of business at the University of Indiana. She was also the youngest female to win the National Advertising Federation’s “Advertising Woman of the Year” award in 1965 – while under the age of 40. Myra is currently the founder, chairman and CEO of the Naples Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex. Her memoir, Secrets of a Rutbuster: Breaking Rules and Selling Dreams, came out in 2009.

RutbusterWhen Myra was attending Indiana State Teachers College, she wanted a job at the Terre Haute Star newspaper. Unfortunately, she was bluntly told by the editor, “We don’t need any paper dolls.” Furious, Myra walked into Meis Department Store and, after writing an assignment on the spot to prove her talent to the advertising manager, landed a part-time job as a copy girl earning $7.34 per week.

One day, the advertising manager informed Myra that “a new man from New York was coming.” He asked if Myra could make sure all the ads got in the paper and on the air. Once she agreed, Myra realized two things: she could soon be out of a job and this was her big chance.

Myra had a plan. The store never used real artwork in its ads, so she put together a double page spread for junior dresses. The ad pictured a girl in one of the dresses sitting on the rim of a glass of lemonade, waving a straw. The caption said, “Junior Dresses – Cool as Lemonade.” The store sold out of all 700 dresses. The next day, the store owner arrived with the ad, demanding to know, “Who did this?” Myra fessed up and the owner responded, “We don’t need that man from New York.”

As one of the most accomplished women in advertising during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Myra built her reputation selling product benefits to the customer, searching out the truth, identifying problems and generating creative solutions. Her diverse variety of clients ranged from coal mines to candy bars. At one point early in her career, Myra was earning $10,000 annually, which made her the highest paid woman in Terre Haute.

In the early 1960’s, Myra headed to Chicago, was snagged by the ad firm of Roche, Rickard, Henri, Hurst, Inc. and was chosen to serve as its first female executive vice president. In 1965 she was named the National Advertising Federation’s “Advertising Woman of the Year.”

While in Chicago, Myra met Draper Daniels, the ad executive behind the iconic Marlboro Man campaign and after whom the Mad Men character Don Draper was based. Myra and Draper forged a powerful partnership, with Draper gaining controlling interest in Roche, Rickard, Henri, Hurst, Inc. He changed the company’s name to Draper Daniels, Inc. and the pair landed accounts with Colgate Palmolive, Maytag, Motorola and Consolidated Foods. After the successful business merger, Myra and Draper eloped and their personal merger lasted from 1967 until Draper’s death in 1983.

In addition to her success in the advertising world, Myra has many accomplishments in the education field. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and communications from Indiana State University and pursued doctoral studies in marketing management at Indiana University. Myra also held a six-year associate professorship in marketing and advertising at Indiana University, taught the MBA program in marketing and directed an internship program in publishing.

Myra is currently the chairman and CEO of the Philharmonic Center Cultural Complex in Naples, Florida, which includes the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, the Naples Museum of Art and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. She founded the complex in the mid-1980s after coming out of early retirement. In 1986, Myra became the first Florida woman to be designated a “Woman of Change” by the American Association of University Women.

What we learned from Myra: “Associate with people who know things you don’t know, who have skills you don’t have, who have done things you haven’t done. Surround yourself with people who know more than you do and they’ll make you look good.”

Born to Lead

“In the 1960’s, I didn’t know there was a difference between men and women. I always thought of myself as an ad person, not an ad woman. When I was starting out, the closest that women got to management was as a secretary. I was a horse of a different color, I always wanted to be a leader.”

Redefine Failure

“Always learn from failure. Don’t run from it or deny it. Redefine it – not as a calamity but as a necessity. Success is often a liar. Failure is what keeps us honest.”

Be Indispensable

“At one firm, I was shocked to learn that my predecessor made twice what I was earning, but I didn’t go to the board. I made myself so important that the company couldn’t function without me. It worked. I ended up making more than twice what the other guy did.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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HOLLIS GILLESPIE

This Thursday:
BUILDING YOUR MILLION DOLLAR ENTERPRISE… – It’s easier than you THINK

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– Secrets to Success In Entrepreneurship
– Creating the Foundation for a Successful Company
– Keys to Accelerating Growth and Achieving Results
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Humorist, Author, Syndicated Writer, NPR Commentator – Hollis Gillespie

Meet Hollis Gillespie in person at Ladies Who Launch LIVE in Atlanta this Thursday.

With her dad a drunken traveling trailer salesman, a mom who divorced her father and designed computer systems for missiles, and an adolescence where she was unsupervised, drinking, doing drugs and truant, Hollis Gillespie’s early years sound like an episode of Jerry Springer. Even so, Hollis turned her life into material for three top-selling memoirs, one with film rights under option by a major Hollywood studio. Also a humorist, NPR commentator and syndicated writer, Hollis was named Writer’s Digest 2004 “Breakout Author of the Year,” “Best Local Author” by the Best of Atlanta Reader’s Survey (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009) and has even appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Hollis graduated from a remedial high school and attended the University of San Diego, spent one year at Oxford and lived in Switzerland. After leaving the corporate world where she “finally stopped trying to fit in,” Hollis eventually landed a job as a flight attendant and, being fluent in German and Spanish, a foreign language interpreter for Delta Airlines. Unfortunately, she had a fear of flying.

Jotting down ideas when she was supposed to be serving passengers (it distracted her from the fact that she was in the air), Hollis took advantage of her 17 years in the jump seat to see the world and write stories that would eventually become her three memoirs. However, Hollis claims she never would have put those words on paper if she actually thought anyone would read them.

As a child, reading and writing were always organic for Hollis, who can’t actually recall ever being taught to read. At seven years-old, she wrote a book and expected to see it on the book store shelves, asking, “Why isn’t my book for sale?”

Still flying, Hollis had a baby girl and landed a column in a major Atlanta magazine called Creative Loathing. It had a cult following, became a freak success and within three months earned Hollis her first of many “Best Columnist in the City” wins (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007).

Then September 11 happened. As many did after the tragedy, Hollis reflected on her life and decided that to be a role model for her daughter, she had to set an example and go after her dream. By November of 2001, Hollis was doing commentary on NPR, which in her mind made her legitimate. Eight months later she had a book deal with Harper-Collins.

The publisher contacted Hollis about writing a book after hearing her on NPR. Hollis didn’t have a book, but she did have 750 random pages sitting on the bottom of her closet written while she flew the friendly skies. Hollis actually let a few months go by without submitting anything, and then finally sent what she calls her “Big Ass Pile of Stuff” into cyberspace. Thinking too much time had elapsed since the initial call from the publisher, Hollis was surprised when the response was, “This is a book!” Right then Hollis was offered a two book deal with Harper-Collins. Eventually, the stories written on the back of flight crew lists became Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhood, currently under option with Sony, and Confessions of a Recovering Slut: And Other Love Stories. Her third book, Trailer Trashed: My Dubious Efforts Toward Upward Mobility, was released in August, 2008.

Once Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch sold, new author Hollis thought she could live off the book royalties, but that wasn’t the case. Hollis realized she needed to “find a way to transform” and discovered an innate talent – telling stories to audiences and teaching. She enjoyed weaving in and out of stories, and as it turns out, she was fabulous at it. In addition to giving keynote speeches and serving as an emcee at events, Hollis does stand-up comedy with the likes of comedienne Margaret Cho each month at The Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta. All proceeds go to the fight against child trafficking in Georgia.

Hollis also offers writing seminars for aspiring authors on topics such as “Turn your Blog into a Book Deal,” “Blog Your Way Out of the Recession” and “Get a Book Deal.” Dozens of her students have scored book deals as a result of taking her classes. Currently only available in the Atlanta area, Hollis plans to launch online courses in the future.

In addition to her time on Jay Leno’s couch, Hollis has been on TBS Storyline, Monica Kaufman’s Closeups, Good Day Atlanta and TV Land. She has also been profiled in Marie Claire, Bust, Writer’s Digest and Entertainment Weekly.

What we learned from Hollis: “It’s important to stay above extinction and find different tributaries to survive in the industry. Transform yourself. There’s no finish line.”

Save the World

“Follow your heart, because when you follow your heart, you are doing what you can to keep the world from devolving into a big wad of wasted potential.”

Ordain Yourself

“Don’t wait around waiting for someone to tap you on the shoulder. If I waited for someone to ordain me a writer, I may not be where I am now. I realized I didn’t need to wait for someone to call me a writer, so I proclaimed it myself. I printed up business cards that said ‘Hollis Gillespie’ and under my name was the word ‘Writer.’”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, PA.

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Cat Greenleaf, WNBC – New York

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Cat Greenleaf was a broken-hearted Boston University coed when she fled America for Bangalore, India to work at one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages. Since leaving Asia to finish her degree in Brazil, Cat’s eclectic journey consists of non-profit work, interning at age 27, challenges with traffic reporting, covering September 11 live in New York City, celebrating NYC as a features reporter for WNBC and adopting a son. Recently, Cat realized her dream of hosting a talk show by taking it upon herself to launch “Talk Stoop” – a popular feature seen on WNBC, “Today in New York” and by over one million Big Apple cab riders each week. Her recent guests include Rosie Perez and Ziggy Marley.

Growing up, Cat thought she’d eventually find herself in a service role helping people. Thinking that was in the non-profit sector, Cat turned a college break-up into an opportunity to “get off the continent” for experiential learning in underprivileged areas of the globe. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Cat moved to San Francisco to work for Catholic Charities.

When she was 27 years old, Cat realized that she hadn’t yet identified her career passion and regrouped. What she really enjoyed was the local San Francisco morning program, “Mornings on 2,” so she joined the station as an intern, eventually becoming a fill-in producer.

Cat’s next job was a radio station traffic reporter where she flew above the city to keep tabs on the San Francisco roads. Unfortunately, Cat had no sense of direction, identifying the roads using landmarks. This worked while the days were long; however, as the days got shorter and darkness came earlier, Cat sought other opportunities.

After returning to the east coast, Cat accepted another traffic reporter job at NY1, a 24-hour news channel focusing on New York City. When she covered September 11 on-air, Cat realized for the first time that her traffic job was important. It was at that moment that Cat decided to pursue a news role where she could be more impactful. She decided her goal was to host her own talk show.

While at NYC TV, a city-owned station, Cat found her groove as a feature correspondent where she hosted and produced several programs for the station, including “On the Prowl with Cat Greenleaf.”

Currently, Cat serves as features reporter for WNBC, providing human-interest reports for the station’s highest-rated morning program, “Today in New York” as well as the local show, “Weekend Today.”

During her rise in broadcast journalism, Cat met and married Michael Rey, a producer for CBS News. They reside in a townhouse with a stoop on a beautiful block in Brooklyn; a life, incidentally, that Cat envisioned herself living. Still desiring her own talk show, Cat’s neighborhood inspired her to pitch a feature called “Talk Stoop” to WNBC’s New York Nonstop who, incidentally, gave Cat the thumbs-up based on the title alone. During “Talk Stoop,” Cat conducts interviews with New Yorkers on her front steps.

Cat’s “Talk Stoop” viewers include those who tune in to WNBC on TV and online, as well as over one million taxi passengers each week who ride in 5,000 of New York City’s NBC-owned television-equipped cabs.

Admittedly, Cat’s most important role is also her latest – new mom to 14 week-old adopted son Nicholas. According to Cat, being a mom “is delicious.” She and Michael are navigating the dual-career, new parent waters and mastering how to juggle life with a baby.

What we learned from Cat: “Become an intern if you have the opportunity and can afford it. You’ll get to learn how to do everything. If you’re an older intern like I was, it’s empowering and you’ll get more out of it because of your life experience. In addition to the learning piece, there’s no substitute for life experience, so get out there and talk to people and learn about the world.”

Don’t Just Dream About It…

“My advice to female entrepreneurs is that you will never know what you can do if you just dream about it. There are 24 hours in the day, so put enough time and effort toward your goal to see if it works. I realized that if I was going to have a talk show, I had to take it upon myself to make it happen. ‘Talk Stoop’ is a dream come true for me.”

Live and Learn

“Learn all you can. Gain experience and find your niche. To learn more about news, I attended reporter school through the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, NY. I had to learn how to do it all because Long Island News Tonight’s stories are all done by the students. I threw a professional camera over my shoulder and headed out to the mall as a live, on-air reporter. I learned to listen for the sound bite. I had to be a one man band – write, report and shoot the story. It was challenging, but really prepared me for the real world of broadcasting.”

How Was Your Day?

“Being in the same industry as my husband, we completely understand when the other has had a long day, or is obsessed with a story. It’s not exactly the same, though, because I’m in front of the camera and Michael is behind the camera. Also, we’re juggling work and being new parents right now. I leave early and am home in the afternoon, while Michael leaves later for work. You have to figure out what works for you. I have a great life.”

This Featured Lady was profiled by Megan L. Reese, WORDrobe™ Stylist for Her Write Image in West Grove, Pennsylvania.

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