Thriving Woman Spotlight: Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis

Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is President/CEO of the Executive Women’s Success Institute located in Maryland. She’s a career strategist, coach, trainer, speaker, author, and business consultant. Dr. Lewis conducts professional development training, workshops and seminars that have been presented throughout the United States and abroad.

How long have you been in business? Since 2012.

Why did you begin your business? To help other women excel in their career or business.

What is your mission for your business? The Executive Women’s Success Institute (EXWSI) seeks to empower individuals, primarily women, in their career and personal lives by providing them with a fast-track, yet comprehensive toolkit of lifetime skills and abilities.

If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be? Understanding the importance of have a funnel system.


What is a guiding principle that you use in your business? 
Integrity in all things we do.

What makes you a thriving woman in business? Knowing that recognition provides the opportunity to speak about and showcase our experiences as women exhibiting strength in the “business world.”

What do you love about being a thriving woman in business? Helping other women to reach their full potential!

What is the next big thing or dream for you in your business? To have a 2-day retreat that will have an impact on the women attending. Providing information and resources that they will be able to implement and follow through on.

How can our readers connect with you? Email: info@exwsi.com  Website: www.exwsi.com – I am also on Twitter, FaceBook, & Linkedin!

Why I Blog

I blog because it’s a way to reach my people, my tribe, with my heart. I admit that a lot of my posts don’t appear to be from my heart because  I often blog about technical aspects of blogging, Social Media, SEO and Internet Marketing too.  Whenever a client asks me a question about how to do something related to what I teach, I  write a blog post.  I figure, if one person is asking, there are 10 or 100 who also want to know the answer! But it’s still from my heart.  I am really passionate about teaching internet marketing strategies and that’s from my heart!

What Will I Talk About?

Last night I attended a networking event and I started chatting with  a woman entrepreneur about blogging.  She said she had no idea what to blog about.  Have you had that thought?  She is like so many people who are stopped in their tracks before they even start by that thought, “What will I talk about?”  There are other versions of that thought too, like “I’m not a writer”, “who will want to read what I’ve written” and on and on!

She is the owner of a consignment store where they have so many different types of cool  unique, even amazing items.  I shared with her about another client I had worked with who was selling designer ties on Ebay.  Her tie sales were going pretty well,  so I recommended that she start writing a blog post about some of the designer ties. Every time she wrote a post about a tie, that tie would sell and her overall sales would increase.  Even if the tie she wrote about had been sold, it brought people to the site and they purchased other ties!

Blog About your Products

I suggested to the owner of the consignment shop that she start blogging about some of the items in the store; telling the stories of the items, describing them, talking about the store through the inventory.  I recommended that she choose items from her main categories of items in the store.  That way, even if the item she blogged about was sold, there would still be other items in that category for people to purchase.  I told her that if she got any “brand name” new or newer items, she could blog about those as well.  I reminded her to be sure and tag the items with keywords.

You Are a Writer!

It was really amazing for me to see the light bulb go on for her when I shared about the ties and how she could find unlimited ideas to blog about from her own inventory.  She realized that she actually does have something to write about and now she can launch her blog and feel excited about it. 

I have often observed that, when it comes to blogging, the “I’m not a writer” is really more about not knowing what to write about.

Content Marketing: Do I Need It?

Maybe you don’t know what content marketing is. Your question may be “how often do I blog or write my newsletter?” Or “how does having content make me money?” Or “how do I get people to respond to me online?”
 
Content marketing is simply creating content—like written articles, blogs, newsletters and tips—or recorded information like videos, podcasts or audios, that you share with others to educate them about your business. It’s a great form of marketing because it’s relational or teaching based rather than salesy. And I know you hate to sound salesy!
 
But here’s the rub: if you don’t have a strategy for your content, it’s hard to get any response from this kind of marketing. And most solopreneurs underestimate how much time it takes to create quality content. Notice I said quality there, which means, don’t bother creating schlocky stuff because it will actually hurt your chances with your potential customers. After all, I’m sure your service with your clients is never subpar—but putting out poor quality content will make it seem like it could be.
 
Here are the four questions you want to answer before deciding whether content marketing is for you:
1) Do you love to speak, write or create content around your main business topic—or do people tell you they love how you explain things or love how you tell stories that illustrate a point?

2) Would being seen as an expert in your field increase your ability to sell your service or product?

3) Do you have the capacity to create a strategy for your content approach and analyze, review and tweak your content strategy once you’ve started—if not, are you willing to get help to do this step?

4) Do you have time in your weekly schedule to create or edit content or manage someone else who does?
 
If you answered yes to all four of these questions, then YES, it’s time for you to get going with content marketing. If you answered no to one or more questions, then maybe not yet. You’ll need to have all four of these in place in order to get any impact with your content marketing. Because it’s not just about doing it, it’s about doing it well. 
 
Have a topic you want me to address? Please send me a note: linda@lindabasso.com

Thriving Woman Spotlight: Shelly Gupta

Shelly Gupta is a motivated entrepreneur with a passion for creating new software products to address day-to-day problems. She has launched multiple successful products from scratch, worked with teams all over the world and travelled a lot while relishing every moment! She is the Founder and CEO of GiftVolo, a gift-giving business that allows you to give convenient, thoughtful, last-minute gifts from the convenience of your home.

How long have you been in business?

I incorporated my company in the US in Jan 2015. However, given that online marketplace development can be costly it took me a while to take the next step. Reason being it involved leaving my 5 year old daughter and husband for a year to get the platform developed in India. I created a subsidiary company of the US company from scratch in India – probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my professional life. India has too much bureaucracy which causes unnecessary hurdles.

Why did you begin your business?

Gifting is an emotional bond that brings joy to both the sender of the gift and the recipient of the gift. But with the busy lives we lead, it is neither joyous nor convenient for the sender to find a thoughtful gift. In nearly 40% cases, it can be non-joyous for the gift recipient as well, because they end up returning the gift or giving it to someone else. I wanted to create an online marketplace that allowed senders to send meaningful gifts of services and experiences conveniently from the comfort of their home even at the last minute. Also giving recipients the opportunity to enjoy a new service or experience completely free of cost.

What is your mission for your business?

Bring the joy back to gifting. Senders can conveniently send thoughtful gifts from the comfort of their home even at the last minute; Recipients can enjoy a new service or experience completely free of cost; and local service providers also get a piece of this large $500 Billion+ market, which they currently do not have.

If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?

Patience and fortitude. Paulo Coelho wrote “Straight roads do not make skillful drivers.” Believe me being an entrepreneur is like crossing one curvy road after another. In my case the number of curvy roads compounded significantly because of the India subsidiary.


What is a guiding principle that you use in your business?

I use three principles
1. Honesty in my work, to my employees and to my customers
2. Passion and unwavering faith that things will work out.
3. Persistent – failures happen and they sabotage your plans but you got to be resilient and bounce back.

What makes you a thriving woman in business?

My persistence, although I might complain or cry but I bounce back with vengeance and figure out new ways to solve the problem I am facing at the moment.

What do you love about being a thriving woman in business? 

It is by far the most gratifying accomplishment. It gives me a sense of purpose, drive and resolve. I hope I am setting an example for my little girl that she can achieve anything that she sets her mind to.

What is the next big thing or dream for you in your business?

To make GiftVolo a thriving marketplace and the only destination people think of when they think about thoughtful gifts and convenience.

How can our readers connect with you? 

You can email me at shelly@giftvolo.com or text/call me at (650) 665-9365. I’m also on LinkedIn and FaceBook.

Take a Look at What Role Disappointment Plays in Your Business

A while back I gave a speech to a group of women entrepreneurs, my ideal clients. At the end of my speech, I invited the ladies to attend my upcoming event at a deep discount. Only one person in an audience of 60 women signed up for the event. When I went home, I was disappointed. Then I made some follow-up calls and within five days, seven ladies had taken me up on my offer. That was the day I decided to never again be disappointed by the immediate results I see in business. When you are not happy with your results or feel you are not meeting the expectations you put on yourself, if you are like most people, you are likely to be less productive, unfocused and not in action.

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“You will never see an eagle of distinction flying low with pigeons of mediocrity.”
― Onyi Anyado

When entrepreneurs commit to their big ideas, dreams and visions, they have a choice. They choose to take the leap, get support, gather resources, hang with other successful entrepreneurs and choose to be ALL IN, or they do not. Here are ways entrepreneurs who soar with the eagles stand out:

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You’ve heard the term “self-made,” right? While I understand the spirit of this description, in my experience I don’t believe any successful person is 100 percent self-made.

Successful people surround themselves with other successful people, and they lean on their networks when they need support, investment or just another set of eyes and ears. Professional athletes train with other professional athletes. Top entrepreneurs join networks and invest in masterminds so they can share ideas with people on a similar path. Wealthy people tend to invest in retreats to network with other wealthy people.

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Community is a powerful force for positive change in the world. This power can propel you and your business forward beyond your wildest dreams. Why build this kind of community? Because people do business with people and companies that value them and make them feel good.

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Three Powerful Ways to Cultivate Community Through Your Social Media

Cultivating community through your social media begins with building your own online presence. Let’s start with Facebook. To begin, you will want your online presence to reflect a clear, focused message so people can get to know you on both your personal and business pages. Everything you LIKE, share or comment on in some way reflects your message. As you share content that expresses your brand, people who have an interest in what you are up to will gravitate toward you, and your following will begin to grow.

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