Touro University Worldwide, at tuw.edu, has profiled seven famous Jewish businesswomen. These women have founded or worked on several of the world’s largest brands.
Gabe Duverge, author of the article, states, “These pioneers have blazed an enterprising trail for countless Jewish women …their products range from cosmetics and fashion to television.”
Among these women are Estee Lauder, founder and namesake of one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies; Diane Von Furstenberg, Belgian Jewish fashion designer; Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook; and Mindy Grossman, CEO of Home Shopping Network.
These are creative, competent, talented and brilliant women with the grit, grace, determination, vision and values to make it happen.
I restarted my business, Raskin Resources Productions, Inc., in Rhode Island in 2008, after returning to my New England roots from the coast of North Carolina, where I had lived and worked for 12 years. I came back at the height of the Great Recession, but I was determined to bring my vision here and make it work. In my ninth year now, I have learned some things that have helped me sustain and grow my business.
Here is my top five list for making your business a success:
Get professional advice. We all have out-of-the-box ideas, concepts and strategies, and we usually feel quite passionate about them. This is a plus, a gift. But our passion, drive and creativity are not always enough for a successful bottom line. Find a business coach or consultant who loves your ideas and stands behind you, but gives very practical advice and establishes benchmarks and clear goals.
Use your money as a tool. Money is the engine here and you’ll need it at all stages of your business, from concept to marketing. Don’t be frugal on promotion, but use your funds wisely. There are no guarantees, but choose vehicles that give you the most exposure and leverage.
Network, network, network. Be smart about networking. Cold calls may work for some, but the best way to create new business is with face-to-face meetings at networking events or through personal referrals and testimonials. I have built my business on networking.
Create a support network. Being in business has its highs and lows, and you must be able to weather the lows, so cultivate professional friends you can talk to. Make that phone call when you feel down. Get a pep talk … then give yourself a pep talk. Look at what you have achieved so far, and don’t dismiss it, especially on a bad day.
Keep thinking outside the box. Keep the ideas coming. Creativity is the driving force behind the passion. Anyone who is in business is a type of artist, and artists create. I have found that new ideas and strategies are what sustains me. The world needs our ideas!
Above all, stay positive. If you truly believe in what you are doing and that you are making a difference, stay with it. The rewards are there.
PATRICIA RASKIN hosts “The Patricia Raskin Show” on Saturdays at 3 p.m. on WPRO, 630 AM/99.7 FM and on Mondays at 2 p.m. on voiceamerica.com. Raskin is a board member of Providence’s Temple Emanu-El.