Today I share a wonderful article by Courtney Boyd Myers on the energy that is emanating from the entrepreneurial scene in NYC, particularly the collaboration among women.
My favorite point is that this energy is possible in part due to technology but also cooperation and sharing. It’s contagious and can spread well beyond New York. I met with Courtney last week and it confirmed all my motivations for starting this blog and creating a forum where women can share their wisdom young and old. In the article Courtney quotes, Claire Mazur, founder of Of A Kind, a NYC fashion start-up offering one-of-a-kind designs and access to up-and-coming designers, on the community of women entrepreneurs/business women in NYC:
“So with all these fabulous women in one city does it ever get catty? No, says Of A Kind’s Claire Mazur, “Everyone seems to realize that if someone is doing well here the benefits reverberate throughout the whole community and you see it manifested in resources like General Assembly and Tech Stars coming to the city.”
When I started 40:20 Vision one of my motivations (amongst many) was to dispel the image of cattiness between women. So many women enjoy sharing and talking about what they have learned. When I consulted with Alpha Mom several years ago we came up with an insight about the “pride of knowing and the joy of sharing”. We found that when you learn something, in Alpha Mom’s case about being a new mom or a product recall or a service that disappointed or exceeded expectations, you want to share it to help the community as a whole.
One of the common characteristics that women, entrepreneurs of all genders and the younger generation share is the realization that we all can benefit from shared wisdom. Inherently I think many people know this but sometimes wed don’t realize we have something valuable to offer from our experiences. When I first started interviewing for this project so many women thought they didn’t have anything to say that would be helpful to a younger generation. By the end of each interview, they had amazed themselves with that they knew.
So here’s to sharing some knowledge today, this week, this month. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur in NYC. Share something with your friends, family or someone who works for you. Know that this forum is always open for advice from women of all ages (or “used wisdom” as Audrey MacLean, founder of Network Equipment Technologies (NET) and Adaptive and entrepreneurial advisor, called it in her speech I excerpted in a post last week). Any questions are welcome from 20 and 40-something women alike. Many 40-something women are sure they could learn a lot from 20-something women as well. The idea is to provide a variety of perspectives…then you can take it all in a get a head start on making your own best decision.
Enjoy the article link. Here are my highlights on what can we all learn from these start-ups:
“Meetup, Tumblr and Foursquare are startups that have enabled and inspired connections within the tech community, spawning opportunities for entrepreneurs, engineers and tech enthusiasts to create and grow the city’s digital ecosystem.”
The value of connecting to inspire: If you have an interest, find people to share it with from business networking to a walking club or book group. You name it, you can probably find it. The great thing about the Internet is that it can create connections offline no matter where you live.
“New York City is the homebase for a myriad of industries including finance, fashion, media and real estate. That isn’t to say that Silicon Valley and the Bay Area don’t have a number of different industries, but in New York City the focus is less on tech for tech’s sake and much more about its complementary role and the cooperation between the different industries.”
Diversity of thought. Interact with as many different types of people as you can. Cross pollinate your network of friends, colleagues and mentors. You can have more than one mentor. It opens your mind and complements what you know with different perspectives.
“Yesterday, I had an epiphany that for the first time in my life, who I am and who I want to be are virtually one in the same. It’s so much more effective to be yourself than to pretend to be something your not because doing the latter is so emotionally taxing, you’ll never be someone that is fully committed. Being yourself pays dividends,” says Brett Martin, a former banker and now the CEO and Founder of Sonar, a hot new social, location-based mobile application.”
The value of knowing what you want. Really taking the time to think through…What is it that I want? Is this my dream or someone else dream? It’s so easy to get side tracked with the “should do” or the “I can’t do”. One thing to help you do this is the power of visualization. I hear this over and over from 40-something women. So many successful people visualize what they want in terms of career and life goals. Then the process of aligning who you are and who you want to be is already started. As one 40-something woman I interviewed said well:
“In my studies, the through-line that runs though all the successful people I admire is that they had a visual of what they wanted. This taught to me early on that you can visualize what you want. The advice for 20-somethings is not to go to your dad and ask him for money to get your dream apartment. It’s to have a visual of what you want and stay attuned to that possibility. When I say successful I mean satisfied…with life and really happy. Then the financial aspect may go along with that as well.
So if you could visualize, what would the best job possible for me be? What is the best possible career? What do I truly enjoy doing? Then you have that thought energy out there already. And you can start working toward that and what you need to to do make it happen.” — Magen Banwart, Wellness consultant and founder of MB Fitness.
Thanks to Courtney and the Next Web …and here’s to more used wisdom to come!