JoyGenea Schumer and Michelle Henderson public
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Have you ever wondered what happens when women take off their heels for the day and unwind with a glass of red or a finger or two of whiskey? What stories would they tell? What meetings have they walked into unannounced to take back the power? If These Heels Could Talk takes you behind the scenes with two women in the business world who have seen it all. They’ve been at the bottom of the ladder and the top of the ladder. They’ve been underestimated and they’ve had their ideas stolen. And the ...
 
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Imagine 3 adult siblings with respectful relationships who primarily see each other during holidays. Imagine now that these 3 siblings are faced with planning a parent’s funeral and dissolving a household, estate, and life. The amount of time and work this creates is like another job. And it requires all siblings to step into the challenge in diffe…
 
It’s not about how much your product or service costs. It’s about the value of that product or service in your client’s mind. It’s not about who sees your ad. It’s about what your ad says (or doesn’t say) that creates desire. Marketing isn’t advertising. But strong marketing and strong advertising emanate from the same place - understanding your br…
 
There are obvious differences, like holidays that are religion-based. And there are subtle and individual differences, like Memorial Day feeling different for a family that has lost a loved one in military service. But relatively recently, more mainstream media attention has been focused on what might be termed political or historical holidays, lik…
 
In marketing, we work to create value in the audience’s mind. But when the entire value is driven by marketing and not the laws of supply and demand, does that leave us vulnerable to the ‘next big thing’ that undermines our value? The diamond industry is a great example. Now that man-made alternatives are readily available, much more accessible, an…
 
Read any professional job description and it will describe a linear path toward the open position: this degree, this many years of experience, and this background. And in the next sentence, the job description will talk about initiative (self-starter!) and drive to succeed. It will describe a company that values resilience and being open to change.…
 
It’s not that you think you’re wrong. You know you’re right. But you also know that women get negative feedback from others (women and men), when we insist on getting what we want - what we order in a restaurant, what we pay for at the auto mechanics, what we need from our doctors. A purist may say that holding our space is important in every situa…
 
You might be overlooking talent and leadership in your organization and not even know it. Many times, introverts are uncomfortable speaking up in meetings, voicing ideas, or even just so overwhelmed by the social interactions that the meetings are uncomfortable. If this is your only interaction with some of your staff, it may be the only way you ca…
 
If you think buying or selling a home has you prepared for the commercial real estate rollercoaster, think again. There’s a reason the game Monopoly is all about becoming a tycoon by buying residential real estate - between zoning, the Small Business Association, permits, tax incentive programs, and the National Historic Registry, buying commercial…
 
It’s often described as a cup. Our cups are over-full or not full enough. With things that have physical limitations, like a building or a production line, we talk about capacity. The number of people a building can hold. The number of widgets a line can produce in an hour or a day. Capacity is all around us as entrepreneurs and small business owne…
 
Between depression and flourishing, there is a state of being that most of us feel. We might call it the ‘blahs.’ We can still get our work done. We can still find joy in our kids and our lives. But it feels like everything is harder. Everything takes effort. Our motivation is duller. And so is our focus. This is called languishing and it is a very…
 
How do you set a price for your time? So many factors go into this decision - market, services, client budget, selling propositions, and competition are the straight-forward, left-brained business decisions. But self-worth, confidence, and desire to ‘help out’ all factor into an entrepreneur’s decision-making around pricing. You need to be able to …
 
So often, people think creativity is about some sort of art or craft. But really, creativity is about problem-solving. Transforming something, or some circumstance, to what we want it to be. And creativity is not a magical, mystical concept that only some people can grasp. Maybe it is true that some people are more naturally creative, but creative …
 
Not all agencies white label, but some specialties within marketing are difficult to have on staff. So how do these relationships work? And why not just tell the clients exactly what is going on? Michelle and JoyGenea discuss the line between transparency and the ethics of working through other companies while working on their own business brands. …
 
Getting SMART about goals is about making sure your goals are easier to define and manage. Breaking them into long-term and short-term helps as well. A long-term goal like, say, a million in revenue by year 5 in business, is a great aim. But until it’s broken into smaller, short-term goals with time frames and action steps, it’s easy to let time ju…
 
Why would anyone leave a healthy relationship? Professionally, we do it all the time. Sometimes we outgrow a group. Sometimes we find something that fits our professional goals better. Sometimes we’re recruited. Sometimes another relationship, like a partner or children, takes precedence. The trick is to alter the terms of the relationships in a wa…
 
In so many professional situations, small talk abounds. As women, we are inevitably asked about children. For women without children, these conversations can be emotional and social minefields. Do you share intimate details of your infertility history with acquaintances? Suffer the social awkwardness when you deflect the question or appear emotiona…
 
When a relationship is over, it’s over. But how do you tell a professional service provider that helped your business grow that you need someone new? In a small business community, your brand is at stake when you’re firing a professional service provider. Treating others with respect and dignity honors the business relationship you’ve had in the pa…
 
No one wants to think about emergency preparedness. Recorded in late 2019, before COVID-19 shut downs, the topic remains pertinent. Michelle broke her arm and what happened to her business? What should a small business do to prepare for the unexpected? What haven’t you thought of? Where are your blind spots? Michelle and JoyGenea discuss their busi…
 
They say there’s nothing more flattering than being copied. In business, trying to do things just like a competitor may not be the best strategy. Nothing wrong with learning from your competition. But there’s something wrong with copying your closest competitor. In any business, there’s competition. When you’re planning your business, whether you’r…
 
Would a rose, by any other name, smell as sweet? Would a brand, by any other name, be the same? Naming is a tricky business. You want something unique. Something that describes the business. Something you love. But don’t forget the other factors in naming. Spelling. Trademark abilities. Unintended cultural meanings. Domain availability. And the all…
 
Are your assets covered? That is, is your brand accurately trademarked? Is your web content copyright protected? How do you know? JoyGenea and Michelle cover the wonderful world of Intellectual Property in this episode of “If These Heels Could Talk.” From their own experiences with trademark violations, cease and desist letters, and brand name conf…
 
Marcus Lemonis is famous for saying, over and over during many seasons of The Profit, “If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business.” But what numbers is he talking about? He’s talking about profit & loss, cash flow, and debt. He’s talking about your balance sheet - revenue vs. expenses. In reality, he’s talking about 6 or 7 numbers…
 
From logins to employees to insurance to password managers, small businesses have very little in place for their own privacy and don’t do much about client and customer security. The thought that small businesses are not targets is patently false. This podcast is a reminder to stop doing these things: Emailing passwords Using the same password for …
 
On February 4th, 2021, the head of the Olympic Organizing Committee, Yoshiro Mori, was in the news for making derogatory comments about how women interact in professional meetings. Some of the quotes: “Women have an annoying tendency to make meetings run unnecessarily long.” “board of directors meetings with many women take a lot more time.” “When …
 
Mean, Sorry, Just, Little, Correct me if I’m wrong, I know I’m no the ultimate expert, It’s just my opinion… These words and phrases keep us from showing up to business meetings and in relationships with our full expertise and brilliance. Qualifying, passive statements are used to soften the edges of our words so we can make others more comfortable…
 
Why can’t we type when someone is watching? Why do errands that we hate always fall to the bottom of the to do list? Why is it that simple tasks turn into impossible ones? Because our emotions get in the way of our executive functions. Working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control (even coordination) are our executive functions. In children, …
 
What’s stopping you from trying? Maybe it’s fear of failure. Stops a lot of people from trying a lot of things, especially those who are used to being successful. But what if the opposite of success wasn’t failure. What if the opposite of success was learning? Reframing failure isn’t just some pie in the sky idea. There’s actual science behind it. …
 
Women own 40% of the small businesses in the United States (according to the Small Business Association). But 90% of them don’t grow past the owner. They never hire an employee. In 2021, as more and more women start businesses after being disproportionately cut out of the job market during 2020’s layoffs and furloughs, many will have all kinds of b…
 
Ever see someone calmly reading a novel in a bar? What about on a Friday night when the music is loud and the place is crowded? Trying to work during times of shared cultural or political upheaval is similar - it takes a lot of focus. When you’re self-employed, this kind of focus can be very, very difficult to achieve. Motivating yourself throughou…
 
As entrepreneurs, both Michelle and JoyGenea have no shortage of ideas. It’s more a lack of time to see them all through. It may seem like the only people in your life who have ideas are creative people. Turns out, that’s not the case. But there are so many different ideas. The ideas we have come to see as Big Ideas are disruptive or energizing. We…
 
Have you ever driven for hours on a really boring highway? There’s nothing like a smooth stretch of clear road on a sunny day with no traffic, right? The temptation can be to zone out and enjoy the ride, letting your eyes rest on the hood of the car. This can happen in small businesses. We’re so used to so many issues, that when we finally get a ch…
 
There are four simple things you can do today to watch your cybersecurity back. Attacks on small businesses are very common, as systems tend to be less secure due to lack of resources. Small businesses also lack the capital to overcome a serious breach - most actually close after a breach. But there are four things you can do today - have a person,…
 
Ah, winter holidays. Snow (for us in the Midwest), vacations, finals, gifting, family togetherness, food - all a recipe for stress. Add in the end of the fiscal year, and it’s enough to take down the best small business owner. But 2020 has brought its own gifts to the season and jumps in COVID infection rates in many areas are seriously hampering h…
 
Automations are an excellent way to accomplish marketing tasks and maintain communication with customers and clients. From drip campaigns through email to SMS text messaging to Zapier connections from one system to another, automations remove the need for all kinds of resources spent on redundant tasks. But they’re not perfect. Especially if they’r…
 
To tell or not to tell, that is the question. But it’s only the first one. It has a bunch of follow-up questions. Who to tell? When? How? Who does the telling? Where? Sharing something happening at your business that could potentially disrupt business (like, say, a pandemic is running through your office and several employees are out sick) is a hug…
 
During COVID, business owners have faced many lose-lose situations. For a group used to strategically finding the best path forward, it’s been a frustrating year, even in those industries that have been less disrupted than others. Many of us have had to reconcile what we thought we could control with what we can actually control. It’s a whole new f…
 
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and pandemic effects on our businesses. Welcome, everyone, to the third wave. Here in the midwest, we’re experiencing quite the surge, with a ton of new cases and, unfortunately, hospitalizations and loss of life. What is the impact on business? Outwardly, it’s different…
 
Business is dynamic and so are decisions - as circumstances change, our decision-making has to change as well. Are there decisions you’re making passively? That is, decisions you’re making by simply allowing the status quo to continue or allowing someone in your organization to ‘take care of it’ without forethought or proper compensation? This happ…
 
Recorded Pre-Pandemic and still, if not more, relevant today than in 2019. Why is it that when someone sells a business, people feel like the business failed? What is your business exit strategy? Small businesses are personal and our personal feelings color our expectations of others. No one lives forever, and no business goes on forever. So what d…
 
Numerous studies have shown how attractiveness can help people get ahead in their careers. In this episode, JoyGenea and Michelle discuss a new study that explores the drawbacks of beauty. Spolier alert: Those drawbacks disproportionately affect women. As two women who do not identify as particularly beautiful, both JoyGenea and Michelle question t…
 
Advice isn’t always welcome, even if it’s requested. It can make us defensive and angry, even if it’s true. We can’t always see the truth through those emotions. Even when we ask for advice, it can hurt. And sometimes, great advice from great people isn’t in agreement. What do we do then? How can advice help us make decisions if it’s not consistent…
 
The idea of writing a business plan fills some entrepreneurs with dread, some with excitement, and some with dogged determination. Depending on who you talk to, a business plan could be a 120 page graduate thesis or a single page outline. But the purpose of a business plan goes beyond gaining start up funding. The purpose of a business plan is to h…
 
It’s not you, promise. It’s all of us. We’re all tired. We’re all overwhelmed. We’re all anxious. And when we hit a wall, we hit a wall. Michelle and JoyGenea give you a raw look into what two successful business owners sound like when they are in the middle of scaling and going over the walls that we hit. It’s not pretty and it’s not nice. Yet, it…
 
“Would you really trust your life to 50 white male designers, age 20-35?” That’s the question posed by The Social Dilemma, a Netflix documentary about social media’s role in our lives - whether we fully engage or not. Social media is a reflection of us - individually and collectively - and not a very flattering one. Why? Because every decision we m…
 
In our businesses, it can sometimes feel like ‘Help’ is a four letter word. Okay, it’s always a four letter word, but saying it feels wrong. We have a much easier time helping others than we do accepting help for ourselves. Why is that? Maybe because it feels like accepting help creates a future obligation to do the same. But think about it in reve…
 
There’s no shortage of confusion in the workplace right now. And clarity is about confidence - something really hard to find for leaders of all kinds at the moment. Sometimes, a mark of confidence is knowing when your thinking is flawed. Sometimes, it’s realizing that a negotiation isn’t going your way. It gives new meaning to ‘Know when to hold ‘e…
 
What’s one of the weirdest things about the pandemic experience? Wearing a mask while sitting at your desk or walking into the gas station? Not shaking people’s hands at a networking event? Zoom meaning something other than ‘super-fast’ in our daily vocabulary? All those experiences are things we’re sharing, but we’re sharing something else too - t…
 
What is Surge Capacity? Hint: It has nothing to do with the power strip under your desk. Instead, it’s about our ability to adapt to incredibly stressful circumstances, like a natural disaster. Or, say, a pandemic. But the thing about our coping mechanisms is that they’re time-based and intended for short-term emergencies, not long, drawn out (seem…
 
When we were kids playing Tag, most of us had a Free Zone - a place where we could go to rest, regroup, strategize. A place where no one was chasing us and we could stop responding to circumstances and start being proactive. As a small business leader, life can often feel like you’re being chased. What if there was a Free Zone? What if you got a co…
 
Bullies create false power imbalances through words and actions. And, for a huge variety of reasons, many of us don’t recognize the signs early enough to prevent problems. But whether we’re looking at personal relationships, conversations with ‘authorities,’ or work situations, toxic power imbalances enter all our lives in a similar way. And just l…
 
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