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First Impressions and Final Words: The Importance of Business Cards in 2019

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Business cards have been around since the 15th century.

They first originated in China as “visiting cards.” The Chinese visiting cards would express one person’s intention to come and meet another person.

Then in the 17th Century, the popularity of exchanging cards began in Europe. Without the right business cards, you were a failure in the eyes of the public.

There were also extremely strict rules and etiquette guidelines for people handing out their cards. Failure to have the right card or follow the rules would result in a social disaster.

As we fast forward to today, people are still using business cards as networking tools. Not having a business card or having the wrong kind can ruin your business relationships.

Approximately 10 billion business cards are being printed on an annual basis. However, almost 8 out of the 10 billion cards printed are being thrown out in less than a week.

Yet, studies show that your companies sales will increase by at least 2.5% for every 2,000 cards you hand out. Even if a prospect doesn’t keep your card, they’ll still remember meeting you.

After hundreds of years, your card is still a representation of who you are and what you’re all about. Read on to find out about the importance of business cards in the 21st century.

The Importance of Business Cards

When you network you’re actively making meaningful connections. Sending out your contact information online can be somewhat effective. Many businesses successfully use affiliate marketing online to generate leads.

However, when you only rely on digital communications you’ll miss out on making a genuine connection. When you give your card to a potential client, they can put a face to the name of the company. You’ll be able to stand apart from all of the other companies they were researching online.

A computer can’t look your customer in the eye and convey authenticity, but you can. The encounter gives you a competitive edge over others in your industry.

Here are a few different online tools you can use for creating your personalized cards:

Allow yourself to be creative as you explore the different designs. Prospects will enjoy sharing your creative cards rather than boring ones. Having people share your card means your brand will reach more potential customers.

No matter what type of business cards you end up going with, consider your options on going with a cool and unique design. After all, these are going to be used for many years and will be the first impression of your own personal brand and expertise.

Effective Business Cards

Making a great impression starts with the style of your card. Many people mistakenly believe that all a business card does is give information. However, they really are tools to make wonderful first impressions.

It’s important to design a card that expresses your companies personality and brand. It can help to ask for outside advice from a friend or family member. Show them the design you are considering and ask them how it makes them feel. If the way they feel reflects your brand, you’re off to a great start.

Show Prospects You’re Ready for Anything

Have you ever asked someone for their business card and they couldn’t give it to you? Chances are you had a negative first impression of that person. Your subconscious mind is always listening, watching and making conclusions.

Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, you’ll judge someone for not having the right tools.

The same will happen to you if you’re not ready to hand over your card when asked. Even if you take the time to write your information down, chances are they won’t be calling you.

Make sure you always carry your cards on you. A simple trip to the store could end up as a networking opportunity.

Always Accessible

When you use a business card, your information is always accessible. In today’s digital world, it’s hard to believe that anyone could ever lose access to the internet.

However, people are frequently in situations where they can’t go online. Imagine, your potential customer is camping in a remote area or staying at a cabin in the woods.

They don’t have internet access but they do have the ability to make phone calls. If they need to schedule a service or make a purchase, they’ll have to rely on their business cards.

Also, certain people don’t own digital devices or have trouble operating theirs. If your contact information is stuck in their phone, they may never access it.

Also, what happens when they lose or break their phone? A broken phone could take days to repair. Yet that doesn’t mean the customer will wait days to make purchasing decisions.

When the customer needs access to your company’s contact information, your card will be there to save the day. Giving your card means that no matter what the situation, customers can always reach you.

Stay Motivated

If your company is new it helps to have clear networking goals. When you go to different networking events you’ll bring your cards with you. Then you can set a daily goal for how many cards you need to distribute.

A good idea is to set a goal to hand out at least 50 business cards. If you’re having a difficult time, your cards will remind you to stay motivated. Make sure that as you hand out your cards you establish eye contact.

Your card will have your contact information and a brief summary of your product or service. If you’re looking for employment make sure to include a list of your skills.

The person you give your card to might not need your services. Yet, they might know someone who does need something you provide. With a list of your skills, the person with your card will know who to refer you to.

How to Make a Great First Impression from Day One

Yes, you could say that business cards are old school and not many people use them today. That might be the case, but if you are actively attending different conferences and trade show events, they will come in handy.

Just think about how many people are meeting with each other on any given day at these events. With hundreds of business cards changing hands, only the ones that stand out and leave a great first impression will be remembered.

When it comes to creating new business and partnerships, this simple one-up over the competition can equate to something huge in the long run.

If you are still using the same old traditional business card that gets scanned over for second and tossed away… rethink your marketing strategy and invest in yourself and your business today with a new design and business card. It’s one of the most important, yet cost-effective, investments you can make!

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Business Investment Strategy 101: How To Fund Your Small Business?

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You don’t need to be a financial expert to realize that there’s something wrong with the economy, and traditional solutions aren’t working anymore. Things keep getting more expensive, and wages are steadier than ever. More and more people are starting to realize that the answer isn’t a 9 to 5 job, and if they want a more secure future, they’ll have to do more. Investments are becoming more popular among the middle class, and people are starting their own businesses everywhere to secure a better future for themselves and their families. Yet, it’s not that easy, and to start a business, there’s much that needs to happen. The first problem most encounter at first is how to fund their small business, because you are going to need some form of capital to do that. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable, and this is how you do it.

Do it yourself

Might seem like a no brainer, but your first approach to funding your project should always be doing it yourself.  This can keep you going for a while until a more extensive source of funding comes along, but it can definitely be done. You can do so by going through your assets, if you have any, and selling whatever you can of it to get that initial boost needed to get the business going. This is why saving from an early age is always a great thing to do. That can include a savings account, some gold you have stored, an apartment somewhere or a piece of real estate that can get you some money, and so on. You could also resort to zero interest credit cards; it’s definitely not the easy way out, but it’s your own project and you’ll need to invest in it one way or another at some point.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has been quite the popular approach to starting businesses over the past few years, and plenty of companies are doing it and are killing it through crowdfunding campaigns. If the project is creative enough, and has enough promise to it, you’ll find that plenty of people are willing to help you. Sites like Kickstarter.com can help you get to your end goal of a starting capital, and they’ve funded hundreds of projects since they first came to life. It isn’t exactly a long term solution though, and it’ll only get you started, but you’ll have to make your own way after that.

Loans

You knew eventually this one would come up. Nobody likes taking loans from banks, but sometimes they’re the only option you’re going to get. Fortunately enough, lending restrictions are not that tight for all banks. Some offer easier rules and procedures, but you never know what comes with that. Bank loans aren’t your only option though, you can get an inheritance advance on that money that’s taking months, maybe even years, to get processed in the courtrooms. Probate is the legal process in which assets are transferred from a deceased person to their heirs, but this happens through legal proceedings through a court which decides if all things are in order and who should get what. The option of an inheritance loan can come in handy, and after you finally get your inheritance, you can pay it back.

While some people don’t like bank loans for their high-interest rates, they might not also have any impending inheritance. But there’s another option of title loans, which is basically when you give up ownership of your car or vehicle title, temporarily, and you get an amount of money for it. Title loans have a lot of pros and cons, but one of the most important pros is the fact that the lenders don’t put too much weight on credit history. You might have to pay higher interest rates in that case if you have a bad history.

Friends and family

There’s always the option of borrowing money from friends and family, and it’s probably one of your easier outs. Unless your family consists of some seriously bad people, it’s highly doubtful that they’ll charge you for interest rates, or put you away if you’re behind on payments.

Angel investors and accelerators

This is probably how most startups get their money these days, and it’s one of the most eloquent paths you could take to raise money for your startup. You need some really good connections and a powerful, scalable model to reach out to either, though. An angel investor is a person, or a company, that will basically give you the money in exchange for owning a piece of your business. So, they need to see that your business has potential and can actually grow into something big that will make their investment worthwhile. The same goes for accelerators, as they also own shares in the company in exchange for initial funds. This is why the process of planning out your business and having a solid plan for the future will come in handy when you do need the money.

Competitions

Startup contests are also another excellent way to go about getting that initial funding your business needs. Some competitions only need an idea for an entry, but it has to be something really special. Others require a scalable and clear picture of how your business will unfold in the future. Whatever the case may be, if you do all the right things and get all the necessary details in order, you can get your initial funding without having to pay anyone back.

Plan ahead, work hard

The truth is, everybody wants to start their own business and make it as an independent entrepreneur, but very few actually make it. It’s a lot of hard work and sleepless nights of planning ahead to what might be your key to financial security. It won’t come to life overnight, and even if you somehow managed to secure the initial funding, you have to know what you’re doing. If you’re just winging it and hoping for the best, you’ll have very little chance of success.

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A Look at the World of Influencer Marketing through the Mind of Tal Melenboim

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Entrepreneurs are facing growing challenges to succeed. They have had a much more difficult time raising capital in the aftermath of the great recession. As a result, they need to operate on leaner budgets while starting a new business. This means investing in marketing strategies that yield the best possible ROI.

Influencer marketing is one of the most valuable ways to grow a brand. Tal Melenboim created a new influencer marketing project called Zoe Dvir, which helps promising entrepreneurs on shoestring budgets grow their customer base.

Tal Melenboim created Zoe Dvir to help entrepreneurs with their influencer marketing strategies

Businesses in every vertical have discovered the benefits of influencer marketing. According to one study, nearly 40% of marketing managers intend to invest more heavily in influencer marketing in the coming year. This figure is eight times higher than the number of marketers that plan to decrease their influencer marketing budgets.

However, many marketers have struggled to gauge the effectiveness of their influencer marketing strategies. There are a couple of reasons that traditional influencer campaigns have failed to pay reasonable dividends for marketers:

  • They often need to pay substantial fees to promote their campaigns with well-known influencers. These costs can you eat into their bottom line.
  • Some influencers aren’t interested in partnering with many companies. They may refuse to help promote specific brands for any number of arbitrary reasons.
  • Some influencers might have a lot of reach with the wrong audience. Their followers might be the wrong demographic, which means that the fees you pay to them could be totally wasted.

These factors complicate things for influencer marketers. Tal Melenboim recognized the obstacles with traditional influencer marketing, which inspired him to create the Zoe Dvir project.

Here are some of the benefits of this influencer marketing approach.

Entrepreneurs will get their brand in front of a much more appropriate audience than many other influencers can offer

A lot of influencers are overhyped. Despite charging substantial amounts of money, they don’t have a tremendous pull with many business owners’ target demographic. Some of the most widely followed users on Instagram have drawn a following from a very heterogenous audience. Business owners that work with these influencers will have to pay a premium, even though many of those followers have zero interest.

Tal Melenboim is a leading expert in digital marketing. In fact, over the years he’s even had eight different patents under his name in relation to various internet marketing and content creation methods.

When Tal Melenboim developed Zoe Dvir, he focused on creating niche Instagram accounts. He develops computer generated images and caters the content to certain industries. As a result, the followers are going to be highly interested in the content companies in the respective industry is promoting.

Tal Melenboim created a much more cost-effective approach with Zoe Dvir

Traditional influencer marketing campaigns involve forging relationships with major third-party influencers. The biggest downside to this approach is that they have little control over the fees those influencers will charge. They might be able to negotiate more favorable agreements if they can promise long-term Partnerships, but particularly notable influencers still tend to have more bargaining power. This means that marketing agencies need to pass those costs along to their clients.

The system that Tal Melenboim created is more conducive to the budgets of startups. Zoe Dvir uses computer generated images to create influencer accounts. This approach is much cheaper than getting a real-life model to create content to build an account from scratch. Of course, even that approach would have been a lot cheaper than depending on established influencers.

Since Tal Melenboim can quickly build Instagram accounts with virtual models, he can essentially cut out the middleman. He doesn’t need to pay the significant overhead associated with working with prominent Instagrammers. Therefore, brands using Zoe Dvir find it is much cheaper than other agencies.

Engagement with virtual Instagram model accounts can be excellent

Many people are skeptical that using computer generated images from Zoe Dvir can help their brand. Their skepticism is understandable because previous studies have shown that people prefer engaging with images of real people.

However, that bias does not seem to extend to virtual Instagram model accounts very much. Instagram accounts that use virtual models are actually surprisingly engaging. According to Tal Melenboim, research shows that they can actually be even more engaging under the right circumstances. The most influential virtual Instagram model has 29% higher engagement rates than similar looking models.

This means that companies using Zoe Dvir to get their brand name out can expect great reception. Followers will appreciate the message about as much as they would with any other Instagram influencer. They just won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

 

The Instagram accounts that Tal Melenboim has created aren’t region specific

One of the biggest challenges with many online influencers is that they cater to followers in a specific part of the world. This can create a quandary for brands that want to engage with them. Those influencers might be ideal for brands trying to build a presence in a specific new market. However, it can be a waste of their budget if the majority of their followers are located outside their own target market sphere.

This is an underappreciated benefit of the system that Tal Melenboim created. He was able to build Instagram influencers that are not tied to a very specific region. This opens a lot of doors for brands that are looking to expand their reach with Zoe Dvir.

And this is also something to heavily put weight on, as the numbers over at Instagram continue to rise month over month.

Entrepreneurs that use these Instagram influencer marketing strategies can expect more stability with their promotional campaigns

Prominent Instagram influencers can be charismatic, persuasive and engaging. Unfortunately, they also bring a number of quirks to the equation, which can be detrimental to the brands that are trying to work with them.

They might have truly bizarre reasons for refusing to collaborate with certain brands. They might also postpone certain promotional campaigns because they have other priorities that take precedence.

The diva mindset many influencers bring to the table can be very stressful. Tal Melenboim made this observation, which is one of the reasons he started building accounts with virtual Instagram users instead.

Tal Melenboim maintains complete control of the accounts. Marketers working with Zoe Dvir are not at the mercy of third-party influencers that call the shots. This provides a lot more stability to entrepreneurs that want assurance their promotional campaigns will go along as scheduled.

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7 Female Entrepreneurs and Women in Business to Follow Throughout 2019

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Women in business are now gaining more attention than ever before. It’s not just about a movement, it’s about women taking the opportunity to branch away from the standard, and also create business and financial decisions of their own.

What that in mind, what’s new in 2019? Who is making a scene or create waves among women entrepreneurs?

We scoured the web to see who’s hot and who’s not. We came up with these 7 top female entrepreneurs and business women.

Be sure to check out their sites and social media pages to learn more about why they’re considered “hot stuff” in 2019.

1. Isabel dos Santos

Isabel dos Santos is a world-famous entrepreneur, who gained attention for her business expertise and history in Angola.

In addition to various business and financial success, like many successful entrepreneurs, Isabel is also now focused on the better well-being and improvement of those around the world. Not limited to just equal pay and women’s rights in the workplace, but also heavily focused on Angola humanitarian efforts as well.

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Todos temos um sentido de missão com quem nos rodeia. Os nossos colegas, vizinhos, comunidade… este é espírito que eu defendo não só como mulher e angolana mas como empresária, e que transmito às minhas equipas. Na Sodiba estamos perto da Zona 3 do Bairro do Bom Jesus. Uma comunidade que nos dá tanto em alegria. Desde os pequeninos até ao Soba. E nós apoiamos o Bairro e estamos dedicados a estas famílias, desde que aqui chegámos. Temos feito actividades com os meninos, demos presentes, entregamos cabazes, ouvimos as suas histórias e sabedoria e queremos fazer ainda mais. Dar um pouco de nós todos os dias e assim fazer a diferença #SharingbyIsabeldosSantos #Sodiba #ResponsabilidadeSocial #Angola We all have a sense of mission with those around us. Our colleagues, neighbors, community … this is spirit that I believe in not only as a woman and Angolan but as a businesswoman, and that I pass it on to my teams. At Sodiba we are close to Zone 3 of Bairro do Bom Jesus. A community that gives us so much joy. From the little ones to their Soba. And we support the neighborhood, we are dedicated to these families, since the day we arrived here. We have had activities with the children, gave them presents, basic goods for their day to day life, we listen to their stories and wisdom and we want to do even more. We give a little of us every day and thus make a difference

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Today, Isabel dos Santos is the board member of a number of companies in Portugal and Angola. She also owns stakes in affluent businesses, which include ZAP, (a digital satellite television company), Candando (over 1,500 employees), Sodiba and also EFACEC — which is the largest Portuguese corporation in the field of energy, engineering and mobility, with many subsidiaries of strong presence in different international markets. In addition to all of this, Isabel dos Santos also shifted her focus on women empowerment and growing such opportunities through one of her businesses at Zap, which has been a major focus as of lately.

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Hoje é o último dia do Março Mulher, um mês de muita importância para mim. Lembro para todas as mulheres que se devem destacar, fazer mais e melhor, nas nossas empresas, nossas famílias e comunidades. Poder ver as nossas pessoas crescer como a Maria é um motivo de orgulho para nós na Zap. A Maria começou como assistente de loja e hoje é chefe do Departamentro de Contact Center. Nós acreditamos nas mulheres angolanas, investimos nelas através da formação. Queremos dar as melhores oportunidades para que um dia também possam dizer como a Maria: “o que eu faço é sempre com orgulho, é com amor. Eu digo que eu não sou a Maria Antónia, a Maria Sebastião. Eu sou a Maria da Zap”. Veja a história dela. #SharingbyIsabeldosSantos #Zap #Formação #FuturosLíderes #WomenEmpowerment Today is the last day of March Women, a month of great importance to me. I call every woman to stand out for themselves, to do more and better, within our companies, our families, our communities. Being able to see our people grow as Maria makes us so proud at Zap. Maria started as a shop assistant and today she is head of the Contact Center Department. We believe in our Angolan women; we invest in them through training. We want to give the best opportunities so that one day they can also say like Maria: "What I do is always with pride, it's with love. I say I'm not Maria Antónia, Maria Sebastião. I'm Maria Zap”. Watch her story.

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In November 2015, the BBC named Isabel dos Santos as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.

Be sure to keep an eye on Isabel be throughout 2019. And if you are interested, you can also learn more about her here.

2. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg cut her entrepreneurial teeth by working with Facebook as the #2 in charge in 2008. No one knew whether Facebook would be successful or not back then. But, with her at the second to the top, the company’s user base increased more than 10 times the size.

With such success under her belt, today Sandberg is also looked up to as an influential female entrepreneur for other women around the world as well.

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It’s #EqualPayDay. Let’s review the facts. ??? ??? Women in the United States had to work all of 2018 and this far into 2019 to earn what men did in 2018 alone. The pay gap exists across income and education levels – it’s largest for women with bachelor’s and advanced degrees. And it exists across industries, hours, and ages. Even when women get degrees, enter high-paying fields, and put in long hours on the job for years, that still doesn’t erase the gap. No matter how you slice it, women as a whole are paid less than men. And for Black women, Native American women, and Latinas, the pay gap is even wider.??? ??? If ever there was a cold, hard fact about our economy, this is it. And it must change. ??? ??? Equal pay is an economic issue: the pay gap can have a profound impact on a worker’s income, especially when compounded over a lifetime. For families looking to buy a house, send kids to college, save for retirement, or just have a little financial breathing room, the pay gap makes that harder. For single moms raising families on their own – and there are millions across the country – it cuts even deeper. ??? ??? And equal pay is a moral issue. It’s just plain wrong that one gender is consistently paid less than another. For anyone looking to reduce inequality, closing the pay gap would be a major step forward.??? ??? Year after year, we mark Equal Pay Day. And year after year, the pay gap persists. Still, there are signs of progress. Leaders here and abroad are making equal pay a priority. It’s more important than ever that we increase awareness. Join me in sharing the facts about the pay gap. Let’s bring more people into this fight. We can’t get to equality without equal pay.

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Now, because of her efforts and others, Facebook is considered one of the most wealthy and powerful companies in the world.

Today in 2019, Sheryl Sandburg is estimated to have a net worth of over 2 billion dollars and has written best-selling books for women entrepreneurs such as Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

You can find out more about Sandburg by following her Instagram account.

3. Tory Burch

Tory Burch is considered one of the top 10 female entrepreneurs of 2019 by the publication, “10xfactory.com.” There is a good reason for this. She is an American fashion designer as well as a businesswoman and philanthropist. She has her own company known as Tory Burch, LLC which features some of the best fashion styles she’s created that reflect different cultures of the world.

She was listed as the 73rd most powerful female in the globe by Forbes in 2015 and she continues to create inventive items that get the attention of the fashion world.

Find out more about Tory Burch on the Tory Burch Social Media site and follow her on Facebook and other media outlets.

4. Cher Wang

Cher Wang comes from Taiwan and is the co-founder of the HTC Corporation. HTC worked with the Microsoft Corporation over the past decade to develop the Windows phone with the HTC operating system on it, as well as the integrated chipset with VIA Technologies.

She graduated from the University of Berkeley in California and Forbes Magazine estimates her income, along with her husband, Wenchi Chen’s income, at around $850 million dollars.

Follow Cher on Twitter and find out how she made a monstrous deal with Google in 2017 that changed the way both companies operated in a big way.

5. Angie Hicks

Angie Hicks’s name may not be familiar by itself, but she is better knows as “Angie” of Angie’s Home Services.” People who are looking for help around the house to tackle big jobs or looking for specific types of help, always look to Angi for suggestions.

Celebrity Net Worth states that Angie is worth around $190 million. Not bad for a small town lady who started out as a simple business person.

You can find out more about Angie and follow her on Facebook to keep up with Angie’s work and achievements.

6. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey (better known to her fans only as “Oprah” has maintained her status of one of the top women executives and businesswomen of the world for over 2 decades. She has an estimated net worth of over 2.5 billion dollars, and she held the status of the richest woman in the world for a while. She still holds her OWN (no pun intended) and finds time for philanthropy work as well.

Oprah started out as an actress in “The Color Purple,” one of the early films of famous and well-acclaimed directors, Stephen Spielberg, and she quickly rose to fame as a talk show host, TV producer, and executive following this.

The original Oprah show no longer runs on the ABC network. But in its place on her own network and time slot is a new network run exclusively by Oprah called “Own.”

You can find out more about Oprah by following her Twitter feed.

7. Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely is the founder of the Spanx company who has appeared on the “Shark Tank” show to display her idea for form-fitting undergarments that help women look shapely and slim underneath everything they wear.

This idea emerged from Blakely when she confessed to having spent over $5,000 trying to find something flattering to wear under white pants.

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Sometimes it's not about what you know but what you have to give. When I started @spanx I had $5,000 set aside in savings and I'd never taken a business class. I started as a frustrated consumer who was looking for better undergarment options under my clothes. But after standing on manufacturer’s floors and learning more about the industry (I grew up on a beach and knew nothing about the industry) I realized the people making our undergarments didn’t seem to care about how we felt, at all. I went from frustrated consumer to passionate women’s advocate. I really cared about how women felt in their clothes. I cared about giving women better options that allowed them to wear any color, fabric and style clothes with confidence. Did current undergarment options make us feel confident in our clothes? Were thongs really the best answer to visible panty lines under white pants? To me, the answer was "no." And I wanted to do something about it. @Spanx was really one of the first brands that talked TO the consumer rather than AT the consumer. I wanted it to feel personal, because it was personal. If you're starting a business or inventing a product, it's not about how many investors you have or even how much experience you might have.. it really all starts with how much you care. ??#Entrepreneur #MondayMotivation #Inspiration #Motivation #ICaredTheMost #SPANX

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Today, Spanx boasts a whole line of shapewear and it can be seen in stores across the U.S. including the exclusive Neiman Marcus stores. But she didn’t stop there. To date in 2019, Spanx is being sold in 65 countries around the world!

She now serves as a guest investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank” where she began “on the other side,” and she sometimes invests in startups with other female founders. She is estimated to have a net worth of $1.1 billion.

Follow Blakely on her Facebook page to see what she’ll do next.

Summary

We hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown of seven great female entrepreneurs and businesswomen to follow in 2019. We could have picked many others, as women seem to be taking the business world by storm lately. But this will do as a great sampling of what women are doing in the business world today.

If you are a woman and have big goals for the future, don’t despair. There are still plenty of opportunities and industries that are clamoring to find the next Oprah or Cher Wang.

All of these women started with something simple, but they grew their business idea until they made it their own and rose above the crowd to show the world that they were special.

What makes these women unique? As one female entrepreneur said recently, “We’ve got to stop apologizing.” She was referring to the way women tend to feel as though they’ll never catch up to the men who have traditionally help more CEO and entrepreneurial roles than their female counterparts.

The reality is that women and men alike who have strong leadership qualities, a marketable idea, and the desire to pursue it, will likely make it to the top in time.

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