More Than WE Know

Women Entrepreneurs sharing Information, Inspiration and Support

WE’ve moved!

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 21, 2007

Please come visit on my new site  !!

All the great content from this blog has been copied over there – so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing!

 Thanks for your support!

Liz

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Free Blogs versus Paid Blog Hosting

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 18, 2007

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 (please click here to go to our new site!!)

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my goals for this week is to move this blog to its permanent home.  I’m pleased to say I am making good progress on this goal.

You may be wondering why I am bothering to move my blog. Afterall, WordPress is free and the new site  isn’t.  So, for all you bloggers and aspiring bloggers out there, I will give you the pros and cons of using a free site versus a paid hosting site.

First of all, let me say that WordPress.com is fantastic. It is very easy to use and there is a lot of support in the forums.

It is perfect for the blogger who is inexperienced,  budget-constrained, time-constrained, technically challenged or just wanting to use a simple blog as  a hobby.  With WordPress.com you can literally get a blog up and running in less than five minutes.  I know, because I did.  And once you do, you never have to worry about back ups or disaster recovery because WordPress handles all of that for you.

So, why change?  WordPress does have a few limitations, especially when you get into commercial blogging.  In the new site, I’d like to create some options to allow you to:

  • subscribe to a newsletter
  • sign up for free e-courses and tele-seminars
  • download free articles and e-books
  • purchase e-books, mp3 files and other informational products

Having a commercial blog also enables me to potentially earn a little money on affiliations or advertising to help pay for the cost of hosting and maintaining the blog.

There are lots of hosting companies available. I went with ICAN because they work very well with wordpress blogs and they were recommended both by wordpress.com and other blog experts

The biggest concerns I had with finding a host were availability and cost.  WordPress.com blogs are pretty much always available becauseWordpress has a good server network. I wanted to find a host that guarantees similar availability and provides 24×7 real-time customer service.  I also wanted a reasonable price:  ICAN costs about $7 per month.

The biggest challenges I have faced in creating the new site were:

  • tweaking the “theme” that controls how the site looks; in WordPress.com you can select from several themes but can’t make any changes; in the new site I could choose from over 2000 themes , but I found that the theme I wanted to use didn’t allow comments on the “About page”.  So I had to learn some html code and make some coding changes (this was fun!)
  • wordpress.com has some automatic features like keeping track of blog statistics and filtering spam comments; the new site only has the features that I add so I needed to find plug-ins (pre-written code) that did both of those things; there are lots of other plug-ins that I will probably explore over time but for now I wanted the minimum features that I was already getting for free
  • wordpress.com automatically backs up my posts in the case of a disaster; the new site doesn’t do that; I need to back up my site and keep track of the file; if there is a disaster, I will need to restore it myself from the backup; I haven’t tried this yet – but I will this week before moving us over there

At the end of the day, putting your blog on a paid host server provides more freedom but demands more responsibility.  Blogging on wordpress.com is truly worry-free.  Blogging in my new site will be a little more challenging.  But I’m excited about the opportunities to offer more and interact more.

Please check out the new site and let me know what you think!  Do you like the theme I chose? Do you like the way the information is arranged? What do you think of the new header? And how about those comments on the “About page” – not too shabby, eh?

Stay tuned – if all goes well with the backup/recovery tests  – we should be over there by the end of the week!!

Posted in blogging | 1 Comment »

Accountability is Key for Successful Goal Setting

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 17, 2007

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 (please click here to go to our new site!!)

Fall weather puts me in the mood for ambitious goal-planning.  The lazy days of summer are ending and the crisp mornings call for fresh notebooks, sharpened pencils, knee socks, and ambitious undertakings.

I know technically Fall won’t start until Friday, but I woke up this morning to a quintessential New England Autumn.  There was a swirl of fog obscuring the changing colors of the oak and maple trees. The Canadian Geese were making practice flights around the lake, preparing for their impending migration and complaining loudly the entire time.  The yellow, orange and rust colored mums I had planted last week are blooming,  and there is just the tiniest hint of frost. 

It’s the kind of morning that makes you believe that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything, whether it’s learning algebra, getting the cute boy in French class to notice you, or a grown-up dream – succeeding in your own business.

So, whether you live where there is an invigorating breeze at your door or you have to imagine one, I invite you to join me in some goal setting this morning.

One of the reasons we accomplish so much when we are in school is because someone is holding us accountable. There is a deadline and someone who knows whether or not we have accomplished it.  So today, I am going to reach out to all of you and ask you to hold me accountable for my goals for the week. 

By this time next week, my goals are to have:

  • completed the move of this blog to its permanent home   
  • written and published ten ezine articles
  • written interview questions for all the interviews I’ve scheduled
  • organized my network contacts into a database
  • and of course, written daily blog posts and met with my clients

Too much? Too little? Considering I’m working full-time in the corporate world while also running my business, it doesn’t seem too little.  And since I will be in a hotel in NY all week, I should have my evenings free. I’m also making use of my train commute (right now) and will again on the return trip on Friday.

Are these short-term goals aligned with my long-term goals? I think so, as they all move me closer to my longer term goal of having 2000 subscribers to my blog.

What about you? What are your goals for the week? Can you clearly articulate them? Are they reasonable given the amount of time you have on your schedule – could you do more? should you do less?  And most importantly, are they aligned with your longer-term goals?

One of the best ways to ensure you reach your goals is to write them down. Feel free to put your goals in the comments area of this blog.  We can be accountability buddies.  I will let you know next Monday how well I did.

Here’s hoping WE all have a productive week!!

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The Fun of Networking Online – Update

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 16, 2007

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  (please click here to go to our new site!!)

Every day, I’m becoming a bigger believer in the opportunities inherent in online networking.

In the past few weeks, I have met some really interesting people through blogging, reading comments on my blog and writing comments on other people’s blogs. I have also joined several online networking groups which have expanded my social circle and given me lots of new ideas and inspiration.

I’ve already posted about some of these people, and will continue to post in more depth about the rest of them. When you have a chance, I suggest you check out some of these great sites:

Cafe30 – I love the energy of this site.  Towanda’s views are fresh and fun. She talks about marketing, trends, and current events.   One of my  favorite posts is her latest collection of unusual products for sale which includes an infant carrier designed to be hung on the stall wall while you use the public restroom!  As Socrates said – “How many are the things I can live without!”.

FunnyBusiness – Just about any business related topic is fair game on this site, which is about business culture but “delights in telling tales out of school”. Topics range from the story of “two teenaged boys fired from and sued by A&P for making a lewd rapper video involving the store’s produce” to “the differences in how men and women feel about using the office bathroom”. In her recent, more serious post on Anita Roddick’s death, she quoted several blogs, including MoreThanWeKnow.

Management Informatika – This is an energetic site that has been created by a group of MBA students in India. There are a variety of students and professionals writing on various topics related to business, economics, management and technology.  I love their slogan “Knowledge is Limitless” and applaud their enthusiasm for desiring to make their mark in the world.  I recently wrote a guest article for them and will write more periodically in the future.

Another interesting site is A Green Footprint.  This woman owned company helps businesses go green by reducing consumption, increasing efficiency, making eco-friendly choices, and implementing effective environmental communications. I will be writing more about this site next month around BlogActionDay.

Two other dynamic women entrepeneurs I have met recently are Crystal Berney,  independent broker for Ameriplan and author of Work at Home Facts, a blog on the challenges for moms working at home and Clarissa Mack, Promotional Consultant for BIP (Business is Personal) Promos. Both Crystal and Clarissa have agreed to be interviewed for MoreThanWeKnow – look for them in the coming weeks.

Other exciting sites I’ve written about previously but that are worth mentioning again are MyWomanOwnedBusiness (see post), LoveThemUP (see post) ,  Virtual Woman’sDay   (see post) and FinancialFashionHouse (see post). 

If you too want to expand your network from the comfort of your own home try these tips:

  • Join social networks that cater to people with similar interests as your own; Linked.in and Facebook are popular but their size can also be intimidating; the smaller groups are more intimate and can be just as good a source of contacts.
  • When you come across blogs that you relate  to, take the time to leave a comment and spark a conversation; your own site will be viewable in the entry so others who read your comment can also reach out to connect with you.
  • Participate in forum discussions on topics that are of interest to you; do a search on your favorite subject and the word “forum” and it’s more than likely one or more will pop up.

And don’t forget to network here!  – write a comment about your experiences networking on or send me a personal response on my about page.  I’d love to hear from you! 

Posted in marketing, motivation, networking | Leave a Comment »

WE Celebrate Virtual Women’s Day

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 15, 2007

 (please click here to go to our new site!!)

Thanks to Heidi Richards at Virtual Woman’s Day for adding MoreThanWeKnow to her list of  “great woman bloggers”. 

Heidi is the Founder & CEO of The WECAI Network™   – an Internet network of organizations that “Helps Women Do Business on and off the WEB.”

She created Virtual Woman’s Day™ to bring together women from around the globe to network together, learn together and grow together. She intends women to do this by encouraging one another to share resources, promote products and services, increase our circle of influence and have some fun in the process.

Heidi arranges a monthly event called 1st Fridayz in which women network over the internet, sharing their products and ideas and listening to great speakers.  September’s topic was on Blogging for Business. It was such a success that they are going to continue the topic and do “Blogging for Business Part Two” on October 5th.

This is a great low-risk networking opportunity.  You don’t have to leave your home, you can participate as little or as much as you want, and you can easily follow up with people via email after the event. If you would like to participate, register for the WECAI network, and more details will be sent to you.    Don’t miss the fun!

Posted in blogging, marketing, motivation, networking, sales | 1 Comment »

Anita Roddick – Inspiration for Women Entrepreneurs

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 14, 2007

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  (please click here to go to our new site!!)

One of the fortunes of being a Woman Entrepreneur in the 21st century is that we get to have role models to inspire us.  A generation before us, women were making things up as they went along with no indication whether or not what they were doing made sense.   As intimidating as that may sound, it had a certain appeal to singular, free-spirited, strong-minded individuals.  And it is to those bold, courageous women that many of us owe our inspiration as entrepreneurs.

One such inspiration for me has always been Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop. Anita was one of the orignators of the idea of doing business to do good.  Ecological principles were a foundation of her business with its philosophy of re-use, re-fill and re-cycle. Later, she expanded her social activisim to include human rights, animal rights and sustainable environmental practices. 

Anita traveled the world to gain inspiration and to give assistance.  She was an author, a speaker, a teacher, and an activist.   She was an example for Women Entrepreneurs everywhere who want to achieve success and help the world to be a better place.

Anita passed away Monday from a brain hemorrhage, at the age of 64.  She lived every day of her life as if each moment counted – daring to do all the things that most of us only dream of.

In recent years, Anita maintained a blog that espoused her personal beliefs and strong opinions as well as represented her sense of fun and enthusiasm. 

Anita was a role model for those of us who continue in her spirit. In her words:

“Join me: I want to connect with people who share my outrage over the menace of global business practices, and who, like me, are seeking solutions. But I also want to tell – and hear, from you – stories that lift our spirits, that celebrate how glorious our planet is. Outrage and celebration – let’s run this gamut together.”

In the spirit of outrage and celebration, I invite you to journey with me as we build our businesses, create success for our families, and work together to make the world a better place.

Posted in marketing, motivation, networking, sales, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

How Green Can Your Small Business Go?

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 13, 2007

 (please click here to go to our new site!!)

October 15th is Blog Action Day.  On that day more than 5000 blogs will post on one topic – the environment.   Each blogger will add his or her own unique perspective – political bloggers will post on politics and the environment,  parenting bloggers will post on children and the environment, and small business bloggers will post on (you guessed it) small business and the environment.

On that day, I would like to talk about general ways entrepreneurs can help the environment by running their busineses more efficiently and consciously.  But I would also like to talk about specific women entrepreneurs who are contributing in a positive way by: reducing waste, promoting recycling, cleaning up the environment, educating others, etc.

If you are a woman entrepreneur whose business is environmentally conscious and would like to be profiled on my blog, please comment below or contact me directly by using the reply section on my “about” page.

I look forward to hearing about your efforts to go green!!

Posted in marketing, motivation, networking, sales | 1 Comment »

Financial Freedom is Always in Fashion

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 12, 2007

 (please click here to go to our new site!!) 

I recently met Cinnamon McCann in the new social network My Woman Owned Business.  With my new-found insight into expanding my social network, I quickly recognized Cinnamon’s potential to be a Mind Opener in my life.  

Cinnamon is the founder of Financial Fashion House.  Her business is dedicated to teaching women financial responsibility in a fun way based on “inspiration, laughter, creativity and hope”.  Cinnamon combines the dry and intimidating subject matter of finance, with the fun and frivolity of fashion, enabling her to convey powerful information to Women Entrepreneurs in a non-threatening way.

Her site offers classes, training and articles on topics ranging from economocial methods of starting a business to knowledgeable investments in the future.   Cinnamon’s site has video interviews, a new radio show and even fun t-shirts with slogans like “sexy entrepreneur”.   Her site is creative and fun and filled with valuable information provided in an engaging way. 

Cinnamon is an inspiring Woman Entrepreneur whose business is making a difference in the world. She is definitely a mind opener for me, who will stimulate me to think of new ways to connect with the world.

But don’t just take my word for it – watch one of Cinnamon’s insightful videos to hear one Woman Entrepreneur’s bold journey to financial independence. 

In this video, Cinnamon interviews Dawn Patrick-Wout,  Founder and President of About Interiors. About Interiors is one of the largest women-owned design centers in the Mid-Atlantic Region, specializing in commercial and residential interior design. Dawn has empowering advice for the budding Woman Entrepreneur, including “surround yourself with a great circle of friends who believe in you and will see you through when the times get rough”.

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September 11, 2007

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 11, 2007

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  (please click here to go to our new site!!)

Woke up this morning to a gray, rainy day in Manhattan – my hotel room overlooking Ground Zero.  My heart goes out to the victims of that day and to their families who have had the courage to continue.   My heart goes out to all victims of violence everywhere.  May you find the courage to continue.

“The pot flower sitting on the windowsill

speaks to me in words that are green-tinged red leaves:

Flower flower flower flower

Today for the sake of all who have gone before you

Burst into flower. ”

– Muriel Ruykeyser

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Eight Roles That Friends Play for Entrepreneurs

Posted by Liz Fuller on September 10, 2007

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  (please click here to go to our new site!!)

As we’ve been discussing in recent posts, part of the challenge of being an entrepreneur is isolation and loneliness. Much of our work is solitary; Being so focused on (some would say obsessed with) our business and our dreams, can further distance us from those around us.

However, a strong support system  is essential  to our success as entrepreneurs.  Surprisingly, simply having a wide circle of friends, or even one close friend, is not the same as having a strong support system.  According to Tom Rath, there are actually eight distinct support roles that we need in our lives to be our best selves:   

Builder – encourages us to be more and do more

Champion – believes in us; cheers us on; promotes our causes; says good stuff about us behind our backs

Collaborator – shares similar passions, interests, and ambitions with us

Companion – always there for us; friendships that can last a lifetime

Connector – socializer; can introduce us to the right people

Energizer – makes us feel more positive and motivated; fun to be around

Mind opener – broadens our perspective on life; introduces us to new ideas

Navigator – gives us advice; helps us keep moving forward when times get tough 

It would seem ideal, and certainly most time efficient,  to find a single person who could play all of those roles for us.   But many of us make a mistake when we expect our friends or families to be something that they are not. Just because they love us and may be great in one role, does not mean that they have the personality to behave in all of these roles. In fact, Tom Rath says it is a mistake to put that type of burden on any one person.    It is important to have a circle of friends who can fill the various needs we have in our lives.

I have to say that before reading this book, I had not clinically examined my relationships.   I tended to hang out with people who lived or worked near me, who I enjoyed and who made me laugh.

But since reading the book, I realize that the majority of my friendships are with companions, collaborators and energizers.  Left to my own devices, I would probably continue to build more friendships like these.  They are enjoyable and enable me to stay within my comfort zone.

But as an entrepreneur, I need some people in my life who are going to encourage me to grow.

After doing some analysis of my friendships, I realized that I could definitely benefit from more mind openers and connectors.  These people could help me see new possibilities and introduce me to new people.

I could also use some builders and champions.  Building a business can be hard work and it is easy to get discouraged.  Having more people who encourage me to take risks, and believe in me when I am down would help me keep from giving up when things get rough.

I also could use some navigators in my life – these are the people who can see around obstacles and help strategize around challenges.  They could help me create an action plan when I am feeling stuck.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to go out and cold-bloodedly cultivate people with these traits or conduct screening interviews at my next networking event.  But I am going to give new consideration to my existing and prospective relationships. 

Instead of disregarding people who have different opinions than I do – I’m going to consider whether they can actually open my mind to new ideas. 

Instead of glossing over compliments as merely polite – I’m going to assume they are heartfelt and sincere and feel good about the way those people makes me feel.

Instead of keeping all my problems to myself and thinking I need to be the “lone ranger” – I am going to seek out advice from others and consider whether I could actually apply it to my situation.

I believe that being consciously aware of the value of these roles in my life, and being open to cultivating them,  will naturally help me to build them.

What type of relationships do you tend to build? What types of relationships could you benefit from? Please share your thoughts – I’d love to hear them.

Posted in marketing, motivation, networking, sales, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

 
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