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Dr. Harbeen Arora

Dr. Harbeen Arora on Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Success

Thought Leader, Global Icon & Visionary for Women, Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Humanitarian, Author, Spiritual Seeker and Compelling Speaker, Dr. Harbeen Arora manifests multifaceted leadership with strength & simplicity.

Dr. Harbeen Arora

At Annual Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2018, India (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

Dr. Harbeen Arora is the Founder and Global Chairperson of the ALL Ladies League (ALL) and Women Economic Forum (WEF). With a powerful global network of 200,000 women worldwide and growing toward ‘Mission Million’, ALL and WEF are among the largest communities of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide offering platforms and ecosystems for personal and professional growth. 

Born in New Delhi, Arora grew up with a great focus on education, values, and the spirit of service. Both her parents worked so growing up she always knew a woman to be independent.

“At home, I saw them both share the household chores. So we saw that balance in action, and we too, my brother and I, learned about responsibility, independence and teamwork from an early age. We were both treated equally without any one of us feeling any gender bias. We had the same rules to follow at home and same opportunities for education and growth,” says Arora. 

It was due to this great foundation of equality in her household that it took her a while to understand the depths of discriminatory biases that held women back in the economy and society. However, once she saw them she could not stop seeing them everywhere. Realizing that her upbringing was unfortunately not the norm for most women drove Arora to pursue various avenues to help better the lives of women and push toward gender equality.

Self-fulfillment and following seeking your life’s path

Additionally, the values learned in childhood – hard work, team spirit, responsibility, service; have served her immensely in her career and in life. 

“I also learned en route about the importance of having endless reserves of positive energy and resilience,” she says. “My spiritual path greatly opened up that possibility for me.”  

Always a seeker, the core of Dr. Harbeen Arora’s pursuits, both personal and professional, is self-fulfillment.   Learning, evolution, expansion and self-transformation are important life goals for her, and these goals guide and drive most of her pursuits. 

Dr. Harbeen Arora

At Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 Los Angeles (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

“The path reveals itself to the seeker. No matter where you are in your journey, if you have an open mind and pure heart, life will place you on the track you are supposed to be on for your own growth and awakening. When we listen to our inner voice, follow our intuitive guidance, take actions and steps forward on our path, we also meet our destiny en route,” says Arora. 

“I have always been most passionate about working and learning. Goals and dreams may change, but what I enjoy most is the learning part of it. Learning, working and walking in purpose greatly uplifts you as a human being. That constant opening up of the mind, broadening of horizons, change of perspective, spiritual expansion and blossoming of the energy – all these are very important to me and drive me as a person,” she adds. 

Empowering a worldwide network of women 

Dr. Harbeen Arora’s passion for learning drove her to pursue degrees in multiple fields. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Delhi University, a Masters from King’s College, London University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and PhD from Sorbonne Nouvelle, University of Paris III. 

Throughout her years pursuing her education and later in her career, Arora again and again experienced great revelations about the strengths we each hold. 

“In 2000, going to Paris for my M.Phil and PhD, without knowing a word of French, and then writing my doctoral theses in French, was a revelation to me of the immense inner strength we hold to accomplish whatever we set our heart and mind on. It greatly built my self-belief, spirit of risk-taking, and self-reliance,” she shares. 

Receiving Award for Women Empowerment from the H.E President of Egypt. (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

“Then again, in 2011, we sowed the seeds of a dream to unite ALL the women of the world as a worldwide web of women. We started the ALL Ladies League (ALL), that forms the backbone of our now famous conference platform, the Women Economic Forum (WEF), and then instituted business and industry chamber Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WICCI) that gives policy recommendations to the government from time to time, and now our global e-commerce marketplace for our global community, SHEconomy.” 

As of 2020, the Women Economic Forum (WEF) completed 41 global editions across 25 countries. Their last annual event was in March 2020 in Egypt. Since the lockdown the WEF has held their events virtually, which has given them the opportunity to expand their digital reach. 

“We have a Mission Million for 2022 and the digital outreach is, now more than ever, integral to the realisation of that vision. Our completely free e-commerce platform for women entrepreneurs worldwide, SHEconomy, is a game changer in this direction,” says Arora. 

You might be interested: Stacie de Armas on breaking stereotypes and advocating for Latinas

In ALL’s decade-long engagement, they have fostered a worldwide ecosystem of “sisterhood,” for empowering support networks and safe spaces where women can come together to help one another. Arora says, “Empowering women’s social and economic leadership is at the heart of ALL what we do. We are non political, non religious and non dogmatic.” 

Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Success 

With a massive network of 250,000 women and supporters connected worldwide including in Latin America, the WEF are surely and steadily on their way toward realizing their “Mission Million” dream. 

“It helps that we are founded and headquartered in India, the cradle of civilization that has forever welcomed and embraced ALL, with a most inclusive vision for humanity and the world as ‘One Divine Family,’ as said in the Vedic phrase ‘Vasudeva Kutumbkam’,” says Arora. “Our guiding spiritual mantra is ‘Love ALL, Serve ALL.’ I’m a devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and I strongly feel a divine hand and guidance. I’m in absolute awe of what is unfolding for I know the divine feminine is manifesting through this bond of sisterhood, through each one of us who carries a piece and part of the greater feminine.” 

Fostering the spirit of sisterhood is a crucial step toward closing the gender gap, according to Dr. Arora. “We believe that in order to close the He/She gender gap (and by extension, education gap, security gap, respect gap, opportunity gap, wage gap …), we absolutely need to first close the She/She gender gap,” says Arora. “Thus ours is a She-for-She movement, with outreach toward She-for-He and She-for-All. Ours is a movement of Gender Equality without Gender Divisiveness; from a place of Positivity (of attitude/approach/conduct), Power (of self-belief) and Purpose (of the collective aspiration).” 

At Women Economic Forum (WEF) Tunisia 2019, with Nobel Peace Laureate 2015, Ouided Bouchamaoui (right), and then Minister Neziha Labidi (left). (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

Through the various platforms– ALL, WEF, WICCI, and SHEconomy–Dr. Arora has helped women come together and create a solidarity of “sisters beyond borders.” In this process of pursuing Oneness as sisters Dr. Arora has been spiritually uplifted by a vision of Equality, spirit of Equanimity, and surrender to Eternity. 

“We all have our challenges, and everyone is fighting their own battles. My humble learning over the years while facing challenges big and small is this – our Self-Belief and “Atma-Vishwas,” viz. our faith in the eternity and infinity of our own Soul and Self is the source of tremendous inner strength. By tapping into this inner (divine) strength, one can face all kinds of challenges with courage and resilience. This is the education of the heart and spirit.”

Throughout life, Arora says her greatest challenge has always been understanding herself and her purpose in life and how to implement her highest vibration in her day to day work. This is especially true for many who may think that one’s highest spiritual goals are incompatible with the pursuits of business and real life challenges. However, Dr. Arora says she has learned throughout her journey that it is possible to match both and lead a happy, fulfilling, balanced and successful life. She defines success as awakening. 

“Success is about awakenings and openings, about finding doors so to say, and we indeed hold the key to that. We succeed every moment by simply holding up the attitudes of ‘never say die’, not quitting, and always doing whatever we can to the best of our abilities even in the worst of our circumstances.”

Pipeline Fellowship Natalia Oberti

Pipeline Fellowship Conference in the making of women angel investors

Natalia Oberti Noguera, CEO and Founder Pipeline Fellowhsip

Natalia Oberti Noguera, CEO and Founder Pipeline Fellowhsip

The Pipeline Fellowship conference is an all-day event on angel investing open to the public. Panels and presentations cover topics ranging from angel investing in action to due diligence, structuring the deal, valuation, and the post-investment relationship.

UPCOMING CONFERENCE

2015 Bay Area Pipeline Fellowship Conference

Friday, October 9, 2015, 8:30AM – 6:00PM (PDT)

Surprised? Curious? Each year, the Pipeline Fellowship selects five to ten women  in cities around the country to learn the skills of becoming an angel investor. The program includes attending monthly workshops and being mentored by seasoned male and female financiers.

The architect behind this initiative is Colombian-Italian Natalia Oberti Noguera, an unstoppable LGBT Latina who aims at “changing the faces of angel investors” in a White male-dominant industry.

“There are enough white guys investing in other white guys and I decided to change that,” she said at the Latinas Think Big™ Innovation Summit when prompted why she decided to start this women-led for profit social venture. That statement caught my attention for sure!

When I contacted Natalia for an interview, she immediately responded. “We target our potential investors through people like you who are genuinely interested in having a great conversation and sharing the message about this topic, and also through social media,” she said.

Growing up in Latin America, Natalia did not have entrepreneurial role models around her. “My father worked for the United Nations and we moved around a lot: I lived in Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. Quoting Marie Wilson from The White House Project, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’.”

Years later,  she finally took permanent residence in New York City. “I hold a BA in Economics and Comparative Literature from Yale University –I like to say that I majored in extra-curriculars. I didn’t realize that what I was doing was being entrepreneurial,” she said.

Pipeline Fellowship Natalia Oberti

 

The same way, when she meets her potential angels in training, she encourages them to become role models for other women.

“In 2011, at our first bootcamp in NYC, a woman of color approached me at the end of the session and said, ‘I was raised skeptical that women can be investors but you are right, I could be an angel!’ Those are the type of stories that keep me going. While women of color investors’ numbers are low –only 19 percent of investors are women and 4 percent are minorities–, they are not zero,” Natalia said.

She firmly believes that seeing other Latinas and women of color on the panels is a powerful message that motivates women to act. “I ‘hate’ non-profits,” she said boldly. “The perception this society has about the concept of money is different for men than for women. When a woman wants to help change the world, she starts a charity. When a man wants to do it, he builds a billion dollar business. Creating a self-sustaining venture that invests in women entrepreneurs’ projects and startups is the best way to advocate for doing well while doing good, and it should be the only way to make a profit,” Natalia assured.

For that purpose, the Pipeline Fellowship bootcamp includes three important aspects of becoming an angel investor: education, mentoring and practice. “Women who are interested in investing their money in exchange for equity in companies they believe in are helped to make the best decisions through our program,” Natalia explained. “We try to match local entrepreneurs with local investors but sometimes it is hard. We receive thousands of emails from women starting their own business who are looking to access capital but fewer are willing to step up and provide funding,” Natalia said. “Additionally, it is relatively accessible once the applicants meet the requirements,” she said. Each fellow pays $4,500 for tuition and commits to investing $5,000 toward a $50,000 investment in a start-up that meets the Pipeline Fellowship Pitch Summit criteria.

So what are you waiting for? Get your investors’ juices going and out in the real world to help other women fulfill their dreams. Latinas we tend to think that we need to keep our wealth to help our children; however, building someone else’s dream today might make that person pay it forward to our own children in the future.

After all, it takes a community of women investors to raise a successful woman entrepreneur.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_RAEdKvTk

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Most Powerful Latinas

ALPFA Yvonne Garcia, the impact of Latino leadership on global markets

 

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA

I first contacted Yvonne Garcia to write her profile in 2007 as the Experto de Hispanos for About.com, . She impressed me with her assertiveness and dedication to her career, which has grown and blossomed into national exposure. Yvonne is the National Chairwoman for the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), a 48,000-member organization that thrives to empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation in every sector of the global economy.

This year, over 3000 ALPFA members gathered in the Big Apple to advance the role of Latinos not only in the national stage but also in the world markets. “We had a record-breaking convention this year in New York,” she shared with LIBizus. “Not only has it been the largest convention ever but the one with the most memorable highlights,” she affirmed.

Among the memorable programs was the Women of ALPFA Day, which featured an invitation-only breakfast with guest speakers discussing the global gender gap; panel discussions and workshops focused on soft skill development for Latina leaders; and the Women of ALPFA Luncheon where the accomplishments of Latinas were highlighted and celebrated.

“Our honoree this year for the Latina Excellence Award was Nina Vacca, Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Technical Resources, and Chair Emeritus of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” Yvonne said. “She talked about her journey to over 2000 attendees during the Women of ALPFA Luncheon,” she said.

According to the ALPFA National Chairwoman, Latinas in corporate are making headways and preparing for landing leadership roles. Knowing the personal sacrifices Yvonne made to build her professional career, a topic of our first conversation back in 2007, I was curious to know if the path has become somewhat easier for the upcoming Hispanic women eager to climb the corporate ladder.

“If anything, I believe it is harder now,” she said. “Although we are more aware of the importance of supporting Latinas to ensure more diversity in the workplace, they are now demanded to make even more sacrifices, working longer hours not only in their day jobs but also contributing to professional organizations,” she said.

ALPFA is committed to lead the support for Latinas through a more concerted effort in finding the right mentors to help those in the pipelines. “This is the commitment we ask from top corporate management; there must be a mandate from CEOs to mentor and train our women in order to build not only technical skills but also to develop leadership strength and charisma,” she added.

At her day job, Garcia, presently the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Client Solutions and PMO of the Investment Manager Services group for State Street Corporation, has global responsibility for developing new client relationships, deploying cutting-edge technology and operational processes, and delivering complex consulting engagements for existing and potential State Street clients.

Nina Vacca, Yvonne Garcia, Josefina Bonilla at the Women of ALPFA Luncheon.

Josefina Bonilla, Nina Vacca, Yvonne Garcia at the Women of ALPFA Luncheon.

She was born in Queens, New York, from the marriage of a Lebanese mother and a Dominican father, who came from the Dominican Republic in 1961. Yvonne had diverse experiences growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood but spending the summer months at her father’s country of origin. She learned Spanish as her first language.

Since she was a child, she was interested in the concept of money. At age six she organized a book sale in front of her house. She played with stamps making believe the papers she stamped were bank transactions. Always a saver, even when her brothers asked her to borrow money she would charge them interest.

Yvonne graduated with an MBA from Boston University in finance and marketing and a BA from the Sorbonne in Paris, France, where she lived while studying its economy and culture.

Beginning at the very bottom in sales in 1995, answering calls from customers in Spanish for a small community bank, she was promoted to the department of international staff given her fluency in English and French.

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks

She then moved on to Merrill Lynch as a Financial Adviser and decided to continue her studies obtaining a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University, focusing her career in Finance and Marketing. By that time, she had also started a family and had a small baby. Yvonne found a new passion in marketing that, despite being also demanding, allowed her to manage her time in a more flexible manner.

Yvonne was appointed as Vice President of strategic assistance of the Construction Bank of China in America. In this role, Yvonne and her team were responsible for the creation and implementation of sales processes and service within the bank’s capitalization centers, which included implementation of roles, responsibilities, and tools for the sales force and the management team.

In the midst of her travels to China, Yvonne also spent more than seven weeks in North Carolina, where she acquired her certifications as Six Sigma Green and Black Belts.

She recalls China as the largest professional sacrifice because she had to leave her son to travel to China for three weeks in a row, but was also her greatest professional achievement.

She was then offered a position at Liberty Mutual as the VP and Director of Marketing to consumer market segments. In this role, Yvonne was responsible for the creation and implementation of integrated marketing strategies that resulted in the penetration of selected consumption targets throughout the country.

Student of the Year Award ALPFA Convention 2015

Student of the Year Award ALPFA Convention 2015

“I found this role through my network of ALPFA, which opened the doors for this opportunity,” she recalls. ALPFA’s is committed to grow aggressively to 100,000 members within the next two years. Anybody who is seriously devoted to their professional career must consider joining this national organization,” she added.

And she concluded, “Moreover, as the ALPFA Chairwoman in this year’s convention, all the sacrifices I made were well-rewarded when I saw the happy faces of over 40 students who received scholarships in recognition and celebration of their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills. We witnessed the talent of Latino students from across the country; they work hard through the year to deserve such important recognition.”

Los Angeles Tap the Future winner Enso Ink_feature

“Shark Tank” Daymond John gives you 3 tips to win $200K (video)

ABC's Shark Tank's judge and business mogul Daymond John

ABC’s Shark Tank’s judge and business mogul Daymond John

Are you a LIBizus startup or entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level? Do you have confidence that your new idea is worth over $200K? Then Miller Lite Tap the Future is what you have been waiting for!

Miller Lite Tap the Future gives participants the chance to present original business ideas and compete for the grand prize while working with world-known business moguls like Daymond John from ABC’s “Shark Tank.” This year, in addition to business teams, they are also accepting “solopreneurs” to the program.

Beginning February 6, entrepreneurs ages 21 and over can submit applications up until April 10, 2015. Thirty semi-finalists will be selected to pitch their business ideas in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Detroit throughout July.

One business from each city will be chosen by a panel of judges to move on to the national finals and win $20,000. In September, the final six participants will compete in Chicago for a $200,000 grand prize.

“Miller Lite Tap the Future is the ultimate competition for entrepreneurs who want to be recognized and rewarded for following their true passion,” said John. “I encourage all entrepreneurs to apply for a chance to get their original idea out there and receive advice on how to take it to the next level.”

Two years in the works, Tap the Future has received over 4,000 submissions and provided $700,000 to fund original business ideas in all industries. Previous winners, Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray, were acquired for $27 million after creating Swyft Media, a company that creates stickers and emojis that are compatible with mobile messaging apps like Kik, Tango and Viber.

Los Angeles Tap the Future winner Enso Ink

Los Angeles Tap the Future winner Enso Ink

Miller Brewing Company began as just an idea in 1885 and has grown to be one of the top-five selling beers in the United States. Miller remembers where they started and are using this opportunity to give back to those who share the same passion for entrepreneurship.

“The original light beer exists because Frederick Miller followed his passion against all odds, so it is important for Miller Lite to support entrepreneurs who want to pursue theirs,” said Steve Canal, MillerCoors manager of community commerce and partnerships. “Not only does Miller Lite Tap the Future offer entrepreneurs the chance to interact with top business experts like Daymond John, but it also provides the tools and funding resources to help bring great ideas to life.”

These are John’s three tips to be a winner:

  1. Recognize the importance of mentors in life and business

    Daymond John with previous years' participants

    Daymond John with previous years’ participants

“I often speak about the importance of mentors. These days I’m usually the one doing the mentoring but I wanted to use this week’s blog to give people some insight into the people who changed my life through their mentorship. Mentors can be people who come into your life for a brief period or those who stick around forever. My friend, and current mentor Jay Abraham, who I’ve mentioned many times in the past, recently shared a study with me. It found that startups that have helpful mentors, and learn from startup thought leaders raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user growth. Mentorship is what allowed the successful companies to focus, not take funding too soon, and scale at a good pace. I’m thankful for all of the mentors who have helped me throughout my career and life,” Daymond John says on this article “Mentors who changed my life.”

  1. Be a “go-giver”, not a go-getter

“When I’m on the road speaking, or really anywhere out in public, people often approach me to discuss their businesses. More often than not, they ask me for something, ‘Can you help me get distribution,’ ‘Can you help me with my next round of funding,’ etc. While it’s good to approach the people whom you’d like to work with, this is not the best way to do it, he says in his article “Be a Go-Giver, not a Go-Getter.”

“The best way to approach these people is to OFFER services rather than ASK for them. The people I end up working with are the ones who come up to me and say, ‘I’d love to work with you. How can I help you with what you have going on?’ Or ‘I do such and such service, I’d like to offer it to you free of charge so you can see the quality of my work.’ The next time you’re at a networking event, give the go-giver approach a shot, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results,” he concludes.

  1. Practice these three ways to get ahead

    Participants at the Tap the Future competition

    Participants at the Tap the Future competition

Miller Lite Tap the Future judge Daymond John knows a thing or two about being successful. In this video, he shares three tips to keep in mind when trying to get ahead. He advises that you should watch what you say on social media, keep your appearance in mind and learn from everyone you meet.

Click here to watch the video with Daymond’s tips on getting ahead!

Applications are being accepted now until Friday, April 10, 2015. Good luck! Click here to apply.

Embrace life even when it sucks

How to embrace life even when it sucks

Embrace life even when it sucks

 

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it,” wrote M. Scott Peck in his book The Road Less Traveled. “Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it then life is no longer difficult.”

I recently ran across an old professional acquaintance. I originally met this person around 15 years ago. At the time he was on a professional trajectory that I figured would get him to retirement by 40. To be completely honest, I was a little jealous of him at the time and I recall frequently comparing myself to him to find out what made him so much more successful.

I lost touch with him for many years as he moved onward and upward. Several years ago we reconnected on Facebook. Unlike me, he is not a social media freak. As such, I didn’t learn too much about his personal life other than information gleaned from the occasional post – usually made by someone else.

Read:    10 Inspirational tips from successful people

After a networking event not too long ago I bumped into him and we decided to grab a drink. I wasn’t planning on sticking around after the event but I figured I would wait out Los Angeles rush hour traffic with a glass of cabernet.

In speaking with Joseph (not his real name) I learned that he had in fact done very well in the 10 years or so after I lost touch. He became a “player” in his area of expertise. He made a lot of money and was a known entity.

Unfortunately, like so many, he became a victim of the Great Recession. His business was flattened and after so many years he found himself standing on the ground with the rest of us.

It had been a few years and Joseph had not recovered his mojo. After hearing his story and the manner in which he conveyed it I could tell that the recession affected not only his business portfolio, but also how he viewed himself. His entire self-worth was tied into his business success. This was probably because all he had experienced was one success after another.

At this point I would be lying if I didn’t say that the conversation was making me completely uncomfortable. Sitting in rush hour traffic was sounding better and better. I was not Joseph’s close friend. I don’t consider myself the “touchy feely” type that likes this kind of stuff. All I could think about was my wife’s words of wisdom to me when she has a similar moment – “I don’t want you to solve my problem. I just want you to listen and acknowledge me.” So I did.

After Joseph was done sharing some fairly heavy stuff he asked for my advice. I really wasn’t prepared – nor trained to give advice. I was actually a bit shell shocked. But I managed to offer the two bits of advice:

  1. Life Is Difficult. One of the few memories I have of my high school theology class was a book by M. Scott Peck.

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it,” wrote Peck in this book The Road Less Traveled. “Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it then life is no longer difficult.”Something Wonderful Is About To Happen

I’ve had some pretty high highs and some pretty low lows. At times I have equated my life to a roller coaster. The one thing that has kept me from going insane, and what I thought Joseph needed to recognize is that Life IS difficult.

Life is not supposed to be a linear upward ride of success and good times. It just doesn’t work that way. Some people, like Joseph, have great extended periods of success. Others have more typical ebbs and flows. Regardless, if we are to remain sane in business, and in life, we must acknowledge that system is made to challenge us.

Once you understand how the game of life works then setbacks are not viewed so much as failures but instead they are just a part of the game. And while setbacks may not be fun, they are normal – even with the most successful business person. So long as you are upright and in the game you have another shot at success and scoring another point.

  1. It’s Another Day in Paradise. If you have ever worked with me or met me somewhere and asked me, “how are you?” chances are 99.9% that you have heard the following response from me: “Another day in paradise!”

I’m not sure at what point I picked up this habit. But I have become known as the Paradise Guy. Every day that we wake up we have a choice. We can make it a good day or we can make it a crappy day. Which would you prefer?

Back in May 2014 I wrote about the importance of smiling when making sales calls, whether in person or on the phone. The concept of emotional contagion generally states that good vibes create more sales. As such, the key to a day of productive sales calls begins with the right attitude. On top of having more sales or a more productive day, who doesn’t prefer good vibes over bad vibes?

Today, regardless of how tired I am, how much stress I am under, how well or how horrible the day’s events have gone, it’s just Another Day in Paradise. And that seems to help.

 

Red Shoe Movement Signature event in New York City

Step up your success with the Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah, Red Show Movement

Mariela Dabbah, Red Show Movement

This summer, when I was thinking and designing the LatinasInBusiness.us website, I had to decide on different options for the title, the feel and look of the website, its structure and font styles, etc. However, I never had a bit of doubt about the color: it had to be RED.

According to experts, red is “a positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy… it is energizing and excites the emotions while motivates us to take action.”

I guess that was the same idea behind the Red Shoe Movement (RSM), the only women empowerment platform born from a grassroots movement and sustained by a movement. Their leader, the world-renowned thought-leader, international speaker, corporate consultant, and best-selling author, Mariela Dabbah, is a fearless Argentine-American red-haired whose power and determination has impacted the lives of thousands of women around the globe… and counting.

I have crossed paths with Mariela at different events but never had the opportunity to talk with her about the RSM. This time we did connect and the conversation went easily into the topic of empowerment.

“Most women looking for empowerment usually end up trying to find a formula that worked for someone else without realizing that their characteristics and personality are likely very different from the person they are trying to emulate. The success of the Red Shoe Movement is based on providing tools for women to find their own definition of success and to follow their own style,” she said.

Mariela Dabbah’s presentation for NSHMBA San Antonio at Tesoro Corporation, 2014

Mariela Dabbah’s presentation for NSHMBA San Antonio at Tesoro Corporation, 2014

“Many know the Red Shoe Movement because they have either participated in our signature events, have received training through their workplace, or read my book Find Your Inner Red Shoes,” Mariela told me. “From these experiences, they have discovered what makes them unique, helping them to better align their motivations with their career goals, a very necessary step towards defining your own success.”

And of course, she chose red –the color that excites the emotions and motivates us to take action– for Red Shoe Tuesdays, the idea she coined to encourage women to show weekly support for women’s career advancement by wearing red shoes to work on Tuesday. “We are redefining the leadership development model because we believe it’s broken. For each person, attaining success is a journey that they embark on with their own singular style. What success means to me might not be the same thing it means to you,” she shared.

Mariela believes that our society has set up “male genetic markers” as leadership features, which need to be achieved in order to be considered “successful.” Even if women reach those same levels of success, their genetic makeup is different and consequently, it is hard to transform ourselves into someone we are not. “Unless we redefine the concept of leadership to include the feminine aspects and strengths, it will be very hard to move the needle in female representation at the highest decision-making levels,” she said.

In her book, Find your Inner Red Shoes: Step into Your Own Style of Success, Mariela challenges the concept of success and failure. “The word success derives from the Latin succedere which means ‘come after’ and ‘accomplishment of desired end’…the word failure comes from the old French word faillir, which derives from the Latin fallere: ‘to cause to fall’ or ‘to disappoint’… For each person, success…is a journey which each of us embarks with our own singular style… When we understand success in these terms… it’s possible to move away from the simplistic success and failure dichotomy, which can ultimately create a suffocating ‘no way out’ situation…” (Excerpts from the book’s Introduction).

You Amplified Welcome P

Click on the image to download the first Podcast FREE!

In response to high demand for its programs, the RSM now offers the RSM Step Up Program- It’s You.Amplified! It’s a way for individual professional women to access phenomenal content (podcasts, Master Classes, the book, and so on,) have a large, powerful network of year round supporters, and receive other benefits. The program is available in English and Spanish.

“Our approach is a program that motivates and engages women so they take control of their careers and grow. We created a number of tools so it could become a sustainable platform for implementation in organizations that we could replicate and measure. Now, these same tools are available to individuals through our new program that anyone can subscribe to through our website,” Mariela said.

The program has been designed to empower already successful women who want to do even better, tweak their leadership skills, or start them on the journey to achieve new professional as well as personal levels of success. And who cannot use that kind of empowerment?

And Mariela promises in her book: “Once you understand that success is what works best for each person, you’ll be able to shake off the stress that ensues when trying to meet goals you haven’t set for yourself, and most likely don’t even make you happy.”

 

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If you want to grow in your career, be inspired, and receive practical tools to help you in your journey, don’t miss this amazing opportunity to hear Mariela Dabbah on March 10th 2015!

Sign up for our exclusive LIBizus newsletter BELOW and receive a special discount -only available to newsletter members- for her webinar “Step Into Your Own Style of Success and Propel Your Career Forward.” (Also available in Spanish.)

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Ten Thirty One on raising 2 million in Shark Tank money

Today Show resident Halloween expert and Ten Thirty One Productions (TTO) CEO Melissa Carbone on set before joining Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Today Show resident Halloween expert and Ten Thirty One Productions (TTO) CEO Melissa Carbone on set before joining Kathie Lee and Hoda.

By Jesse Torres

The last scariest news in zombie fads, zombie walks, zombie videogames, zombie movies, and zombie-you-name-it has landed on Melissa Carbone, owner of Ten Thirty One Productions, who walked out of the Shark Tank program with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s $2 million in exchange for a 20 percent equity stake in her entertainment company.

The latest obsession in escaping reality, zombies, has gained public interest in different parts of the country while generating profits to the Hollywood and Wall Street fat cats’ pockets worth around 5 billion dollars in DVD sales, video games, comic books, novels, costumes, merchandise, conventions and even zombie art, NBC News reports.

Carbone, who is the winner of the largest Shark Tank deal in the show’s history, shared with me the key characteristic of a true entrepreneur during a KCAA Money Talk interview last week.

“The biggest bridge between those that succeed and those that don’t is simply activation; people who activate win,” Carbone said.

“Everyone on the planet has ideas,” she continued. “Everyone has an idea for something. A lot of people have amazing ideas, million dollar ideas. But if you don’t activate on them, they go nowhere. They become nothing. And it does not even matter that you had an idea.”

Consultant Rasmus Lindgren echoed a similar sentiment on his blog, “You need to take action and do stuff. Nothing ever happened from just thinking or talking about it.”

“Two traits most commonly identified across successful entrepreneurs are innovation and motivation,” Kara Finnegan wrote on Big Think. “Innovators bridge the gap between ideas and action.”

But as Robert Kiyosaki points out on the Rich Dad blog, success requires more than action for action’s sake. “Lots of people take action and the result is that 9 out of 10 new businesses fail. There is more than just action required to make you an entrepreneur.”

Kiyosaki urged entrepreneurs to have a clear vision of what they aim to achieve and a strong mindset so that they won’t be deterred by the first sign of trouble.

MelissaCarbone_MelissaMeyer

Ten Thirty One Productions CEO, Melissa Carbone and Creative Director, Melissa Meyer.

Fear and deterrents prompt some prospective entrepreneurs to view activation as too risky. Fear of failure scares them from acting on their billion dollar idea.

“Making a mistake is not a bad thing,” entrepreneur Neil Patel declared on the Quick Sprout blog. “You actually learn from those mistakes, which helps you make better decisions down the road.”

Indeed, as author Bruce McDaniel explained in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: An Economic Approach, “entrepreneur” was used in France in the 18th century to describe the very act of risk taking.

“Entrepreneurs do what they do because they want to, because they believe they need to, because they feel something must change, because they know their actions are required to make that change,” Larry Robertson stated in A Deliberate Pause: Entrepreneurship and Its Moment in Human Progress. “They believe they simply have no choice. Their conclusion is ‘if not me, who?’”

The following three tips can help you take action on your ideas and overcome the fear that may be holding you back.

  1. Do the right amount of research.

“The larger knowledge you have about the specific topic related to your action, the larger self-confidence you will have,” consultant Dragan Sutevski wrote on the Entrepreneurship in a Box blog. “If the knowledge for the specific problem that needs to be solved with your entrepreneurial activities is larger, the solution will be much more easier.”

Shark Tank contestant Carbone founded a horror-based immersive entertainment company after receiving a jaw-dropping number of trick-or-treaters at her horror-themed home one Halloween. If she could get hundreds of visitors to her home with some creativity, how much traffic could she drive if she put in professional time and effort?

According to Carbone, she spent several days researching the concept and within a very short time frame launched an enterprise that yielded a $2 million investment from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban.

“To succeed as an entrepreneur, remember to guard against making critical decisions based solely on emotion without considering relevant information,” Entrepreneurship.org has advised. “Analyze the situation, make the decision, and take action with confidence in your decision-making and planning abilities.”

  1. Don’t fear failure.

“Brains are overrated when it comes to achieving great results,” Lindgren wrote.Focus on doing and building things of value. Most mistakes and changes are more often than not easily fixed.”

Successful entrepreneurs know that success doesn’t necessarily reward the smartest or most intelligent. Success comes to the action taker. Successful entrepreneurs are smart enough to know a good idea when they think of one and sharp enough to put together a strategy that works.

They may not qualify as brain surgeons or rocket scientists but they know how to execute plans, get things done and beat Einstein to the punch.

Carbone encouraged risk taking, saying, “Don’t be afraid to fail as long as after the failure you reflect and try again.”

  1. Act promptly.

“Activate when you have the idea because if you have the idea today and you do not activate today, I guarantee somebody else is going to have that idea tomorrow and maybe that person will activate,” Carbone said.

Have you ever watched an ad or found a product at the store and said, “Hey! I thought of that!” OK, so you did think of it. But so did someone else. In the world of entrepreneurship, having a great idea only gets you so far. You must act on it or lose to the competition.

New America Alliance showcases the economic power of Latinas

Economic power of Latinas was the main topic discussed at the “American Latinas: Leadership and Economic Force.” For the first time, the New America Alliance (NAA) brought to the forefront an exclusive panel of powerful Latinas in recognition of the advances of Hispanic women in business.

economic power of Latinas

The American Latinas’ panel with Pilar Avila, NAA CEO

Opening remarks were addressed by Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar, NAA Institute Chair of the Board and Managing Partner at Victoriana LLC, who made a compelling overview of the milestones Latinas have conquered since NAA’s foundation. “Especially for U.S. Latinas, the future looks promising. Many of our NAA female founding members broke glass ceilings on their own,” she said.

Additional remarks were conducted by Lorraine Cortez-Vazquez, Executive Vice President, Multicultural Markets & Engagement at AARP and Jorge Ferraez, NAA Board Member and Founder and Publisher of Latino Leaders’ Magazine.

The panel showcased Latinas in key positions of the public and private sectors including The Hon. Alejandra Y. Castillo, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency at the US Department of Commerce; Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics; Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar; Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, Senior VP and Resident Sales Director, Aon Risk Solutions, Capital Region; and Alice Rodriguez, Executive VP, Regional Sales and Executive –Business Banking at Chase.

Moderator of the panel was Jackeline Cacho, NAA member and Founder, Finding Productions, who made a great introduction telling her personal story and recognizing the formidable headway Latino women are making in every industry.

The morning panel was followed by the traditional U.S. Mayors Forum and Luncheon with the presence of The Hon. Pedro Segarra, City of Hartford, CT , The Hon. Angel Taveras, Mayor of Providence, RI and Mayor Elect of Providence, RI Jorge Elorza.

Please click on any picture of our photo gallery to see some of the event highlights and share your thoughts on how NAA can increase the economic power of Latinas around the country to boost their economic and political potential. Enjoy!

 

Codie Baker Sanchez Award

Dr. Sanchez-Baker from human stories to economic empowerment

Codie Baker Sanchez received her Corporate Leader Award from the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Codie Baker Sanchez received her 2014 Corporate Leader Award from the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Searching for accomplished Latinas, back in October I found the announcement of the LA CIMA Awards, a Week of Tribute to Women in Business and Leadership from the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The “Corporate Leader” award was bestowed to Dr. Codie Ann Sanchez-Baker, a young professional who has climbed the financial corporate ladder with one promise: to be part of a team that can realize change at a bigger scale.

Her story started some years ago, when Codie was still about to graduate from Arizona State University with a BA in Political Science, Public Relations and Journalism. While studying, Codie wrote a series of stories called The Generation Abandoned.

“In Mexico, a high percentage of elderly residents are left behind along the Northern border when the youngest members travel from the south of Mexico and Central America to the USA in search of work. Their families are divided as the elders are not able to make the crossing,” she said. “I learned about their lives and wrote stories to call attention on that matter.”

For such endeavor, Codie received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. “I was offered incredible jobs, and

Carmelita Gutierrez takes a nap while a nurse visits with other residents at La Divina Providencia in Agua Prieta, Mexico Friday, November 2, 2007. (Photo: Courtney Sargent)

Carmelita Gutierrez takes a nap while a nurse visits with other residents at La Divina Providencia in Agua Prieta, Mexico Friday, November 2, 2007. (Photo: Courtney Sargent)

graduated with honors,” she recalls. “I wrote those stories to give a voice to those who didn’t have one but soon I realized maybe nobody wanted to hear those stories.”

Codie understood that as a journalist, she had little power to achieve real change. “Real power was in money; those who have money have power, and can create massive change if they so choose,” Codie said.

She enrolled in Georgetown University where she earned a Masters in International Business. Soon enough, she was offered a job as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she was probably not only the youngest woman but for sure the youngest Latina.

“I have been blessed enough to work at some of the best financial firms in the world; from Goldman Sachs to The Vanguard Group, and in roles from Chicago, to Boston, to San Francisco, to Latin America. I achieved much success and ascended rapidly from analyst, to associate, to Vice President, to Director and finally became Director and Head of Institutional Latin America Business for First Trust Portfolios, a $90 billion investment firm, in eight short years. Through this process, I realized it wasn’t only about that south of the border. It was about everyone who was left behind in our corporate world of finance. I made it my mission to understand financial markets, serve my clients, and increase opportunities for minorities in this traditionally male-oriented, homogenous industry,” Codie affirms.

In every position she landed, Codie worked hard at creating opportunities for fellow Latinos. Prior to First Trust and during her tenure at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) –the world’s largest asset manager with $22 trillion in assets under care–, Codie was appalled at the low number of Latinos in top positions. “As an example, I was a Vice President and probably one of the only Latinas at that level at SSgA. So I created the first ever Latino Recruitment Group at that company and was chosen as their representative and speaker at both national conferences of the Association of Latino Professionals in Financing and Accounting (ALPFA) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA),” she recalls.

She has been elected to the board of Dallas’s ALPFA Chapter helping to bring in Fortune 1000 corporate sponsors, so that young Latino members would have a chance at top tier jobs. She is also on the board of the Dallas Association of Financial Professionals (DAFP).

Dr. Codie Ann Sanchez Baker

Dr. Codie Ann Sanchez Baker

“I encourage Latinos to take advantage of the many opportunities available in finances. Companies are constantly looking for diverse talents, and as young professionals we need to advance to positions of responsibility. Sometimes, we see institutions as ‘dirty’ but I truly believe in helping people grow through capitalism and economic development. I believe in a hand up not a hand out. The US is proof that capitalism is not perfect but it is our best solution,” Codie concluded.