Advice from 50 Mentors: A NAWBO Power Celebration

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Congratulations to all Finalists, and the 2014 WOD Renee Lewis.

Revisiting the NAWBO Woman of Distinction  – I realize that there are certain “evergreen” topics that are some of the top tips for women to really add jet fuel to their goals, whatever those goals may be.  These are some of the same “hot topics” I cover in my Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership course at the  George Washington University. These included:

  • Negotiation (and that men negotiate starting salaries 4x more often than women)
  • Finding your 5 (because 5+ is the magic number of mentors and shows a confidence gain of 20%)
  • Confidence is a proven equation (and many are not following the equation: Surrounding themselves with frenemies, and engaging in negative self talk).

Scroll down to bottom to know WHY we care about women – as a gender – economically…

One of the things I love to do is bring the real world to the classroom. While speaking at NAWBO, I asked “What hat do the women out there have to share with us?”

These women are running their businesses, their homes…whether a W-2 or a 90210 – the women below, shared a vast array of golden bumpersticker pieces of wisdom  (and one token dude – thanks dad):

50 Mentors Share top Wisdom (’s more than 50)

“Be Observant”

“Take the High Road”

Karen V. Simons


Put on your own mask first.

Jen Sterling


Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

Monica Thakrar


Keeping life in perspective is critical and humor allows perspective to creep in.

Lesley Boucher


Do the right thing for the organization, even if individuals don’t like your decision.

Lynne Richardson


Keep moving forward…no matter what.

I tell myself this every morning before I start working on my business.

Melissa Toler


Never be afraid of change. Change is the catalyst to many great things in life.

Rebecca Hancock

Wells Fargo Bank, NA


Be honest with others and yourself.

Debi Jo Wheatley


Believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone de-rail your dreams

Mary Lee


Set positive goals and manage your time with a to do list.

Laura B.


Stay committed to your decisions, but flexible in your approach.

Claire Meade


Approach each day, task, project with confidence

Tiera Kendle


The shortest distance between two points in business is found in asking directions. If you assume you know the way, you may find it goes through a sketchy part of town, so to speak!

Courtenay V. Shipley, CRPS, AIF

Retirement Planology, Inc.


You can do it, so get going!

Anne Collier


Always have a positive attitude, even if you are faking it, and positivity will follow.

Kathryn Goldsmith


Plan at least 40% of your budget to go to sales and marketing

Linda Maslow

The Maslow Media Group, Inc.


Slow down, be intentional and get complete.

Richa Badami


Do not settle and always believe in yourself.

Susan Kerr


Visualize your success every day. You have to train your mind as well as build your skills for success.

Julia Westfall


Happiness lives at the intersection of the skills you value, the things that make you passionate, and focus on an outcome that others value.

Renee Lewis



Tina Johnson

JP Events & Consulting


You were created for a specific purpose that only you can fulfill. If you

Don’t do it, it wont get done.

Dana Hutson


Opportunities doen’t knock.  It lies in the periphery or you create it. Learn it, ask for it. Time it.

Kara Vanderpool Ward

Your Launch Group


Listen to your heart. It’s spot on and never lies to you. And, raise your prices:)

Mary Beall Adler

Georgetown Bagelry: STAY CALM AND BAGEL ON


Get out of your comfort zone. And if you fail, so what? Learn from it. If you haven’t failed, you aren’t doing enough.

Jan Coley


My ROI: Look for the job/work you want and create the experiences that will get you that job OR create that job for yourself.

Danielle Omar


When you are starting up, say yes to every opportunity – every one on one meeting, every networking event, every opportunity – no matter if you think it directly relates to you or not; you never know who you are going to meet.

Arielle Blinick

RELevent Events


The importance of self care and balance. You must make your wellness #1 in your life so that you can fully show up!

Melisa A. Rivera


“Progress with Purpose”

Know what the next step is, what the expected result is and take action.  Slow progress is still progressing!

Talmar Anderson

Talmar It Up LLC: Turning Vision into Action!!


Top piece of ROI advice: Always be clear on why you say both “no” and “yes.”

Kara Ariail

Holland & Knight, LLP


If your head, heart and gut are aligned in telling you something is wrong, not right for you or misaligned in your hearts passion and desire then trust that instinctual gift and change your direction!

Cynthia de Lorenzi


Follow your passion, be purposeful and true to yourself.

Arti Patel Varanasi, PhD, MPH

Advancing Synergy, LLC


Put on your Kevlar big girl panties and be bullet proof – you will always be in the line of fire and it is how you deflect the bombardment with positivity, forge ahead and keep your chin up during the surge that will prevail with your success.

Life is Baskin Robbins – there are 31 flavors for a reason.  Not everyone likes every flavor so don’t expect to like everyone or be liked by everyone but always be respectful of differences and enjoy the flavors of life.

Function in disaster, finish in style – my alma mater

Mara Bauserman


Only do something if you can do a good job. If you throw something together just to get in the door or so “they” know who you are, they’ll know you as the person who does a sloppy job.

Molly Gimmel

Design To Delivery Inc


If you really believe in an idea, push hard to make it happen. The universe gave the idea to other people and expects one of you to execute.

Donna Vincent Roa, PhD, ABC

Vincent Roa Group, LLC


Two pieces of advice

1. Always live life to the fullest

2. Find your passion and you will exceed

Donna Jarvis-Miller, CMP, CEM

APHSA Conference Manager


Don’t come to the table with a per-set ideas of the outcome, focus on the process as an opportunity to learn. The outcome will turn out better.

Carol Singer Neuvelt


Perseverance- don’t let others view if you define who you are or what you do.

Madhvi Upender


A smile changes everything.

from “unforgettable” Ritzya!


The advice I give out a lot is:  “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”  In other words, be decisive and stick with your decision no matter if it turns out not to be the right choice later on.  You must be steadfast.

Theresa Royal Brown, CMP

Event Planner Extraordinaire and President


This is not an original but one of my favorite “to live by” quotes:  If you tell the truth you only have to remember one story.  I think honesty and integrity are so very important, both personally and professionally.

Lee Ann Burr & Associates

Strategic Event Marketing and Management


90% of your success is based on the  10% your willing to walk away from (not everyone is your client, if there’s not a fit, get them to someone who is)

Mina Fies


My piece of advice is figure out how to be unique. When I changed my business model to align it if my passions, I created something no one else is doing and my roi took off.

Cyndy Porter


It won’t happen unless you make it happen.

An obvious truth but so hard to act upon.

Gosia Bochenek


Measure a person’s success not by how high (s)he climbs, but how high (s)he bounces back after (s)he’s fallen. ~Unknown author

Natalie Goldberg, LCSW


When you’ve had a bad work experience and are going to quit, never burn your bridges. Always leave with in a positive way.

Susan Prince


Never stop learning and remain the expert in your field particularly if you are in a male dominated field.

Pat Wirth


Do not be afraid to let marginal clients go. You know who they are. Your life and business will be better for it. Be courageous.

Dawn McGruder


Figure out what people want and learn to use that to achieve your goals.

Ellen Jennings


When you aren’t feeling confident,  fake it until you make it, eventually you’ll convince yourself.

La Shaun Berrien


Seek out mentors and ask for advice. Stay curious.

Jaqueline Pearce Garrett


Done makes more money than perfect 🙂

Tiffany Mensing

Space & Serenity


Failure will help you focus…embrace it.

Freddi Donner


Everyone you meet wears an invisible sign. It says “Make me feel important.”

Amy Leigh Campbell


Determine/Know what you do well, then go do it.

Sharon Korman Weiss

Psychological and Educational Services


1. She showed no fear when the battle came.

2. I have three balls in the air at all times, two of which are my own.

Barbara Korman

We could tell you, but we’d have to kill you…


Be more prepared than the other side.  (That’s a lawyer thing that could apply to humans as well.)

James W. Korman

Bean, Kinney & Korman


1. Tactical: Don’t be a statistic – A woman who negotiates less. Earn it, prove it, then ask for it.

2. General: You make your own luck (c/o “Grampy” Korman).

Kathy Korman Frey

The Hot Mommas Project


The rest of it? It’s from you. Go out and:

1. Offer yourself as a mentor – email or text someone about a goal. Offer your assistance. “What have you been working on?”

2. Find a mentor “I’ve always considered you an expert in ____, I’d love to ask you something….”

3. Mentor yourself: What advice have you gotten, that you are NOT following, and should START?



About the Hot Mommas® Project

The Hot Mommas® Project is the world’s largest women’s case study library providing free online access to stories of diverse female role models and mentors. It makes the stories of everyday women teachable because exposure to role models – even in the form of case studies – increases the self-confidence of girls and women. The Hot Mommas® Project teaching tools measurably increase confidence up to 200%. The project partners with women’s organizations, universities, corporations, and institutions to teach its confidence building, mentoring programming, and leadership curriculum.

Sign up HERE to be notified of major news, and our class and coaching modules in a non-stalky way.

Oh – PS – why we care about women and opportunity / success:

  • Women earn the majority of Masters Degrees and PhDs
  • Where women are promoted into executive leadership, those companies are more profitable.
  • Where countries invest in female entrepreneurs, the GDP increases.
  • Women make the majority of household purchase decisions.

Themes from that day’s talk:

Mentorship and role modeling = “If you can’t see if, you can’t be it.”

Ambassadorship = “If you can’t teach it, you can’t preach it.”

5 thoughts on “Advice from 50 Mentors: A NAWBO Power Celebration

  • Great event! And a great way to tap into the minds of some awesome women. Glad to connect. Also, congrats to Renee Lewis! She is my hero and definitely deserves the NAWBO award.

    • Thanks Donna – it was a great event and we think the previous reaction to your comment got spammed – on our own site! Sheesh.

  • Excited about the reactions to this, thanks to the amazing advice of the women above…including:

    Molly Gimmel – on the national board of NAWBO and Co-Founder of D2D Inc: Navigating Government Procurement (


    Nancy Chorpenning of C-Suite Advisors, LLC: Business Growth Advisors ( who says on FB: “Love. This. I’ve reposted on NAWBO Presidents Assembly. THIS is what NAWBO is about.”

    Nice! Thanks folks and keep the advice coming…

  • From another attendee “Putting my personal board of directors to work (thanks Kathy Korman Frey for the reminder to use them when needed)”

  • One attendee giving great thought to “frenemies” – the opposite of the positive forces in our life that are the “middle” or the “meat” of the confidence equation:

    She said on FB:

    ” It has given me much to think about today, especially related to a couple of frenemies in my life. What thoughts do you have or what have you done about any Frenemies in your life?”

    Don’t want to name names…as some posts may be private…but little snippets of (sanitized) thought provoking feedback continues the mentoring.

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