I am having such a great time interviewing some of the presenters for the Pennsylvania Conference for Women http://www.paconferenceforwomen.org/speakers that will take place October 25th in Philadelphia. Many of those who will offer speeches and workshops are from all over the country. However, some are homegrown, like Melinda Emerson whose lively manner and crisp commentary are not to be missed.
Melinda began in local television as a producer and at the early age of 26 and spread her entrepreneurial wings to start her own video production company. She laughed as she told me that when she went into a client’s business, the owner had an automatic propensity to shake hands with one of the techs, thinking that was the head of the company. She would then introduce herself and just watch the various reactions she received. “I was young and looked young and it was fun to let them know I was in charge and knew what I was doing”.
In fact, she mused that being in charge came easily, learned early as the oldest daughter with three younger brothers. Her ‘take charge” attitude is evident when she tackles the important role of empowering women to plan for success.
Her niche is perfect for her. She has made a remarkable success of digging into what matters for entrepreneurs and she loves to share the tools and tips to make small businesses prosper.
I was curious about how she handled being a single mom of a five-year-old son. Again, her clarity was evident when she said with great strength in her voice “I am present wherever I am. I am not on the cell phone when I am with my son. The most important thing is I do not worry about balance. I just give my all to what is in front of me at the time. That is my way of staying guilt-free. When I travel I take him with me whenever I can and I’m lucky to have a mom who is a great help. My son gets to do things other little ones can’t and I see that as a plus.”
She is a deep and thoughtful woman and had three pieces of advice for women who want to take that road less traveled and not just grab for a job to feel safe.
- Go work for the competition: Find a company like the one you want to start and work for them to learn the ropes. You will learn the industry, the best vendors, businesses processes, and you might even learn what not to do.
- Live frugally: Save 20-40% of every paycheck. Your ability to save has everything to do with your ability to start a business. You will be able to fund whatever you want later in life if you protect your money when you are young.
- Timing is everything. A wise woman once told me, “A good idea is still a good idea three weeks from now”. Don’t be in such a rush to launch your business. Set aside time to develop a process for generating sales and make monthly goals. Do some of the work upfront and by launch time you will be on solid footing.
Meet Melinda along with a host of amazing women at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, http://www.paconferenceforwomen.org/speakers tailored to empowering the fastest single source of new business start-ups, women.