“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
“Will and intellect are one and the same thing.”
– Baruch Spinoza
Dear Little Girls Wondering What to Be When You Grow Up,
I write this letter to you during a busy, eventful, and interesting week in 2014. One where women around the world discuss/advocate for the UN’s International Women’s Day. One where we deconstruct the style and substance of the Oscars and the great sound bytes from the acceptance speeches by Lupita Nyong’o’ and Matthew McConaughey. As the world watches and waits to see what Russia does about the unfolding events in Crimea and the Ukraine. As people try to discover the identity of Bitcoin’s creator, and try to make plans for the upcoming week (or next), an American phenomenon known as Spring Break. A time when parents of young girls are looking for activities and toys to occupy them, and maybe even facilitate STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills. A time when parents of teenage girls need to be extra vigilant about cyber-bullying and cyber-safety.
It seems that we are living in a fantastical, deceptively simple parallel universe. One VERY different from our mothers and grandmothers, kind of like the one in Alice in Wonderland. It seems that our looking glass for viewing/learning about the world and our role in it, is colored by our level of tech savvy and geographical location. I wrote more about this and what Alice taught me for my latest article (in my female entrepreneurship column) in The Huffington Post.
It also seems that despite our technological advances and globally connected societies, a person’s behavior, attitude, goals and desires, and learning/communication styles are still shaped by their unique Theory of Mind (perspective/empathy) and socio-economic status. This results in men and women using social media differently, choosing professions differently, and approaching the creative process of synthesizing nature vs. nurture differently; psychologically and intellectually.
What are the outcomes?
• A greater need to have women in mentorship and leadership roles, for educational and economic purposes.
• A greater need to hone our emotional IQ and shift our attitude, focus, and overall conduct.
That’s why I wrote a book about trends and psychological and practical aspects for today’s entrepreneurship, The NICE Reboot. The official press release came out during this week, and you can read it here or here. It’s geared for female entrepreneurs who are looking for help, who need to keep up with business trends, and who want to be more tech-savvy. Entrepreneurs who are also trying to balance and juggle work, family, personal growth, and satisfaction with their lives.
What’s my advice for you, as you grow up and will be trying to figure out this thing called “profession”, and where you fit in? I sum up different ideas and takeaways by using this framework in my book; NICE. It stands for Nice, Informed, Competent, Entrepreneurial.
• Nice –how to get started in business, developing an appropriate skillset and mindset that will steer their mission and business plans to build businesses that will be successful and leave a legacy
• Informed –how to leverage humor, music, visuals, and storytelling in developing their marketing hooks to get customers
• Competent –how to upgrade their technology IQs by using an iPad to help forge a
path to create innovative services and products
• Entrepreneurial –how to look for patterns to help them enhance their creative input, use public forums and social media to spread the word about their mission, and time the trajectory of their mission, understanding when to bootstrap, when to seek capital, when to trust their gut, when to find a mentor.
What else do I recommend you do?
3. Continue working on diversifying your network and honing social adaptability so that you can physically and metaphysically (digitally) transcend time and space and enrich someone’s life, starting with yours and those of who you meet.
You are growing up in one of the most exciting, exhilarating, and frankly terrifying eras to date, and will be bringing unique skill sets and experiences “to the table”. Ones that our ancestors couldn’t even begin to relate to and imagine! You are our pride and joy, our legacy, and our greatest experiment in this petri dish of life. You are our hope for a better future, one where women entrepreneurs are a way of life, and positively and yes, profitably, shows us all what we should stand for.