A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Hi Everyone, I Want To Know What Inspires You To Live Your Best Life! Tell me your story.

The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
Robert Cushing

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

While we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I do not want us to forget this women and what she meant to us.

Princess Diana, Princess Of Wales

Born Diana Spencer on July 1st, 1961, Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons and later divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash after trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris on the night of August 30, 1997.

Aristocratic Upbringing

British royalty. Born Diana Spencer on July 1st, 1961, near Sandringham, England. Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most adored members of the British royal family. She was the daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, Viscountess Althorp (later known as the Honorable Frances Shand Kydd). Her parents divorced when Diana was young, and her father won custody of her and her siblings. She was educated first at Riddlesworth Hall and then went to boarding school at West Heath School.

She became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. Although she was known for her shyness growing up, she did show an interest in music and dancing. Diana also had a great fondness for children. After attending finishing school at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, she moved to London. She began working with children, eventually becoming a kindergarten teacherat the Young England School.

Diana was no stranger to the British royal family, having reportedly played with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as a child while her family rented Park House, an estate owned by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1977, she became reacquainted with their older brother, Prince Charles, who was 13 years her senior.

As the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles was usually the subject of media attention and his courtship of Diana was no exception. The press and the public were fascinated by this seemingly odd couple — the reserved, garden-loving prince and the shy young woman with an interest in fashion and popular culture. When the couple married on July 29, 1981, the ceremony was broadcast on television around the world, with millions of people tuning in to see what many considered to be the wedding of the century.

Marriage and Divorce

On June 21, 1982, Diana and Charles had their first child: Prince William Arthur Philip Louis. He was joined by a brother, Prince Henry Charles Albert David — known widely as “Prince Harry” — more than two years later on September 15, 1984. Initially overwhelmed by her royal duties and the intense media coverage of nearly every aspect of her life, she began to develop and pursue her own interests. Diana served a strong supporter of many charities and worked to help the homeless, people living with HIV and AIDS, and children in need.

Unfortunately, the fairy tale wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles did not lead to a happily-ever-after marriage. The two became estranged over the years, and there were reports of infidelities from both parties. During their union, Diana struggled with depression and bulimia. The couple’s separation was announced in December 1992 by British Prime Minister John Major, who read a statement from the royal family to the House of Commons. The divorce was finalized in 1996.

Death and Legacy

Even after the divorce, Diana maintained a high level of popularity. She devoted herself to her sons and to such charitable efforts as the battle against the use of land mines. Diana used her international celebrity to help raise awareness about this issue. She also continued to experience the negative aspects of fame — her 1997 romance with Egyptian film producer and playboy Dodi Al-Fayed caused quite a stir and created a media frenzy. While visiting Paris, the couple was involved in a car crash after trying to escape from the paparazzi on the night of August 30, 1997.

Diana initially survived the crash, but later succumbed to her injuries at a Paris hospital a few hours later. Al-Fayed and the driver were also killed, and a bodyguard was seriously injured. French authorities investigated the crash and the driver was found to have a high level of alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. The role of the pursuing photographers in the tragedy was also scrutinized.

News of her sudden, senseless death shocked the world. Thousands turned out to pay tribute to the “people’s princess” during her funeral procession. The funeral was held at Westminister Abbey, which was broadcast on television. Her body was later buried at her family’s estate, Althorp.

In 2007, marking the tenth anniversary of her death, her sons, Princes William and Harry, honored their beloved mother with a special concert to be held on what would have been her 46th birthday. The proceeds of the event went to charities supported by Diana and her sons.

Continuing her charitable efforts is the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Established after her death, the fund provides grantsto numerous organizations and supports initiatives to provide care to the sick in Africa, help refugees, and stop the use of land mines.

Women Making A Difference

Women Making A Difference

Women Making A Difference

Frances Moreno

Frances Moreno Says The Opportunities are Out There!

Frances Moreno is the Anchor Partner of the VACO Los Angeles LLC, an executive search firm, and has grown her consulting and executive search practice swiftly through her extensive network and with the tenured team at VACO. Under Frances’s leadership, VACO was recognized as “#1 Best Place to Work” in Los Angeles and one of the “Fastest 100 Growing Companies” in Los Angeles in 2009. Prior to founding VACO Los Angeles, Frances was with Deloitte & Touche, served as a top ranked Director at an S&P 500 publicly traded resource-based company, and consulted in the ERP software industry. Frances had this to say about starting her own business:

What inspired you to start your business?

“I left a big corporate environment because I wanted to achieve work/life balance. I know that sounds crazy when talking about starting a business which is a pretty consuming activity, but it’s like the old saying “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I wanted to love what I do and perhaps most importantly who I do that work with. When you own your business you can choose your clients and choose your co-workers so I get to spend all my time around people who inspire me. And I get to treat those people as I want to be treated – with respect and consideration, not as numbers. Business is about partnership to me both with colleagues and clients. That’s my inspiration.”

What steps do you think are necessary for an entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?

“You can tell I’m in the hiring business because I’m going to say the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is hire smart. Find the best talent around, train them well and take steps to retain them because in a service business, those people are the business. It’s also important that you respect your business and your people enough to maintain your margins. Know what your value is and set your prices to be both fair and effective. Create your business and constantly recreate it to show appreciation to your clients and your employees.”

What challenges and opportunities do you see in the present economic environment?

“The challenges are similar for everyone – trying to work with limited resources and cash flow. But this very challenge also forces us to streamline our business, see clearly where we’re wasteful and become more efficient. It also gives us a chance to hire some real A-players that might not have been available to smaller firms before. The big box shops often treat their people poorly in times of hardship and create opportunities for entrepreneurial firms with the right corporate culture. The best possible talent attracts the best clients and can help propel your company out of the economic downturn.”

What advice do you have for women who are just starting out?

“You’ll see I have a theme here, but I would say make sure you only hire the most compatible and hardest working people. Hiring the wrong people can be a real challenge to a new company and can even derail it, so hire smart. I’d also say follow your passion. If you love the work chances are great that you’ll be good at it and that will help you succeed. Don’t start a company for money or because someone else loves it. If your heart’s not in it you won’t flourish.”

Will you be doing any hiring in 2012 or can you continue to grow your company without additional hires?

“Yes, we’re planning to increase our workforce. This is directly in line with what I said about hiring A-players in this type of economy. The opportunities are out there.”

Women In The News

Women In The News

Women In The News

By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

How women are changing the tech world

SAN FRANCISCO – Reshaping a time-worn narrative isn’t easy. Social revolutions rarely are, especially when you’re a woman trying to break into the boys’ club that is Silicon Valley.

But an emerging class of early-stage tech start-up executives is helping dispel the notion that there isn’t a leading role for them in the male-dominated valley.

Company founders and leaders are coming out of Google, Salesforce.com and elsewhere for the excitement of shaping a young business.

The emergence of young female tech founders and executives reflects sweeping change in the worlds of start-up companies and angel funding, where wealthy investors give money in return for a stake in a company. It underscores the enormous purchasing prowess of women online that is transforming the Web economy. As more consumers reach for their smartphones and tablets to shop and communicate, there is a pressing need for commerce sites that cater to women, who control 70% of online purchases worldwide, according to Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer, a digital media company.

Many of these inroads are being made by female-led start-ups that are fueling innovation and the digital economy. Women will influence the purchase of $15 trillion in goods by 2014, according to Boston Consulting Group.

“Female users are the unsung heroines behind the most engaging, fastest-growing and most valuable consumer Internet and e-commerce companies,” says venture capitalist Aileen Lee. She has invested in Brit, a lifestyle branding company, and Plum District, an e-commerce site for moms, among many ventures led by women.

Make no mistake: The executive suite for business in general and the technology industry specifically remains a male stronghold. Just 3% of all tech start-ups are led by women, according to a Kauffman Foundation report. Only a handful of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women. Indeed, the glass ceiling remains a reality for many women, and charges of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination persist. In fact, a recent lawsuit by Ellen Pao, a junior partner at one of the Valley’s most prestigious venture funds, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, is all the buzz here these days because it exposes the fragile position women hold in the tech world.

Even so, there is reason for optimism.

“The technology landscape has flattened,” says Shaherose Charania, CEO of Women 2.0, a media company and resource that helps thousands of aspiring and current female entrepreneurs launch new ventures. Its innovation conference in Mountain View, Calif., in February drew 1,000 people, three times the audience in 2011.

Precise numbers are elusive, but anecdotally they seem to bear out Charania’s thesis: The number of women starting tech companies nationally has doubled the past three years, according to an informal poll by Women 2.0.

Meanwhile, all but two of the 19 U.S. high-tech IPOs in 2009 had at least one female officer. Compare that with 1988, when only 4% of the 134 firms that went public in the U.S. had women in top management spots.

“I’ve been involved in the New York City start-up scene for several years, and I’ve seen many more female entrepreneurs getting their projects off the ground recently,” says Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, who has participated in fundraisers and events for start-ups led by women.

Start it up

Of late, it’s been a thrill ride for female entrepreneurs in tech. Advances in technology, lower infrastructure costs and ample angel investing have made it easier to launch an early-stage company, says Leah Busque, CEO of TaskRabbit, an eBay of sorts for odd jobs.

It’s cheaper to start a company today because Web servers and other equipment cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, not the millions once required for high-end computer servers. Newer technologies, such as cloud computing, reduce infrastructure costs. And coding isn’t as onerous as it once was. Those changes have allowed entrepreneurs to build products faster and land funding sooner.

Five years ago, starting and funding a female-led tech company would have been a formidable task, says Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. But, today, women are helping each other through groups such as Women Who Code, Astia and Girls in Tech, and some venture capitalists are warming up to backing companies led by women.

“We (women) try to band together and look out for each other,” says Brit Morin, 26, founder of Brit. In April, she landed $1.25 million in seed funding for Weduary, a Web app for building wedding sites. Among the investors: Google Vice President Marissa Mayer, VC Lee and former BabyCenter CEO Tina Sharkey. Before starting Brit, Morin worked in marketing at Google for four years.

“It’s great to be a woman in tech. It’s definitely a buzzy time,” says Katia Beauchamp, 29, CEO of Birchbox, a monthly subscription service for grooming and beauty products. “We’re blazing a path, but we’re also benefiting from other pioneers.”

Foremost among those receiving credit is Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, who has successfully juggled running a multibillion-dollar company and raising a family while mentoring female execs.

Sarah Leary, who in late 2010 co-founded Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods, also credits the dramatic jump in angel investors who have taken their riches from Google, PayPal, eBay and Yahoo, and invested them in start-ups.

Angel investor Dave McClure, whose firm has funded more than 50 companies led by women, has noticed the influx of female CEOs the past year with a parallel surge in e-commerce and consumer sites. “Buyers trend female more than male,” he says.

Indeed, 60% of Facebook’s membership is female, and their purchasing interests are broad, says Anjelika Petrochenko, general manager of social network LiveJournal.

More progress to be made

For more than a decade, the short list of female execs mentioned in the news media was the province of folks such as Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, who ran eBay for a decade; former Autodesk and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz; and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. In recent years, the list expanded to include the likes of Google’s Mayer and Facebook’s Sandberg.

But social movements take time. The pipeline from academia is relatively dry. Just a fraction of the estimated 120,000 computer-science graduates in the U.S. each year are women — 11.7% of bachelor degrees in 2010-11, down from 13.8% in 2009-10, according to Computing Research Association. India and China are graduating nearly 1 million men and women annually in computer science.

Only 1% of venture-capital money was invested in companies run by female CEOs in 2010, the most recent year available, according to Dow Jones VentureOne. It says a general drop in VC investment hit women-led companies particularly hard.

That is borne out in several unshakeable statistics that underscore the yawning gap between the sexes in executive board rooms. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman are exceptions among the predominately maleFortune 500 CEOs. A scant 3% of public companies — not to mention, Fortune 500 firms — are headed by women, says research company GMI.

“There always has been, and continues to be, a shortage of female-led companies,” says Dana Stalder, general partner at VC firm Matrix Partners, which has investments in female-led start-ups such as home-care company Care.com and online retailer Gilt Groupe. About 10% of private companies in Matrix’s portfolio were founded by female entrepreneurs.

Female leaders are convinced that such start-ups will lead to spin-offs or investments in other companies led by women.

That has paid off handsomely for Rashmi Sinha, co-founder of SlideShare, an online community for sharing PowerPoint and Word documents and other presentations, which was sold to LinkedIn for $119 million in April.

“As the ecosystem becomes more supportive, you will see more companies created,” says Kimber Lockhart, 26, a trained engineer who sold her then-2-year-old start-up, Increo Solutions, to Box for an undisclosed amount in 2009. Several companies bid for the documentation-management firm.

Adds Leary, “It is exciting to see so many (women-led) companies. But it is a long journey, and there are many stages to that journey to be successful.”

 

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