Let’s face it — starting, running and growing a business is hard – no matter how ideal the circumstances.  Overseeing the core disciplines of business planning, finance, marketing, client/customer service and operations requires clarity of purpose and courage. It also means growing our capabilities so that we continuously improve results. Easier said than done.

In light of all the many distractions that tug on our minds, hearts and time, I’d like to suggest just two areas of focus for the month of April:

1. Grow Financial Expertise –  Since April is national financial literacy month, now is the perfect time to recommit to continuously improving financial capabilities as business owners and as women. 

This is especially critical for female entrepreneurs since women have higher life risks than do men. These risks include greater longevity, higher incidences of singlehood, disability and caregiving; as well as disappointingly lower rates in financial literacy.  Adding these personal risks to those inherent in owning a business places women business owners in double jeopardy.

The good news is that while we cannot always control what our environment or life hands us, we can control our financial education. I say this as a 27 year veteran in financial services with deep passion about the economic security of women and humbled by never knowing it all. We can all learn more. Here are two great resources:

2. Seek Inspiration – Each one of us needs role models to inspire our courage and challenge-filled journeys to success. While it seems like every week we see examples of women reaching the pinnacles of corporate leadership (wonderful), the opportunities to celebrate women who have reached the peak of entrepreneurial success are often far less visible (not so wonderful). 

We need to hear their stories of bucking the status quo, overcoming adversity and achieving the improbable. With this in mind, NAWBO MN is proud to champion the fifth annual Minnesota Women Business Owner Hall of Fame.  This unique gala event honors eight legendary women who have exemplified the best of entrepreneurial leadership, community impact and giving back.  Come and be inspired by their words, their actions and their remarkable accomplishments!

Join us on May 11th , 5:30 – 9:00pm at the Golden Valley Country Club. For details and to register:  http://mnhalloffame.com/events/

I look forward to journeying with you on this wonderful, risky and rewarding path of business ownership.  Together we dare, together we grow in clarity, capability and courage.  

Mary Quist-Newins, President-NAWBO MN

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